Deputies: Cleaning lady stole jewelry, boyfriend pawned the goods

Deputies: Cleaning lady stole jewelry, boyfriend pawned the goods

CRAVEN COUNTY - A cleaning woman is accused of targeting her clients in a jewelry-heist scheme.

Jennifer Blount Lofton, 35, is facing a half-dozen charges of both felony larceny and conspiracy; Lofton conspired with her boyfriend, Steven Craig Burke, to steal the jewelry, according to Craven County deputies.

Burke coached Lofton over the phone on which jewelry to take, according to Lofton's former boss.

Burke is also charged with two felonies in connection with the case.

The thefts occurred for two months, between May and July, according to deputies.

Authorities arrested Lofton and Burke last week.

One of Lofton's alleged victims, Elkie, had a gift from her late husband stolen.

"That's the one that I treasured the most," she said.

We are only using Elkie's first name.

Elkie lives near Grantham Road, between New Bern and Havelock.

Several of Lofton's eight alleged victims live in that same area.

Investigators declined further comment on the case.

The cleaning company owner said authorities told her that none of the stolen jewelry would likely ever be recovered.

We chose to not name the cleaning company because its owner is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Authorities began investigating the case after Lofton's co-worker discovered jewelry in Lofton's sunglass case, Lofton's boss said.

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