TRACY (CBS13) — A Tracy home was at the center of a national jewelry heist conspiracy that used Craigslist to lure sellers with high-priced items into a trap where they would be robbed.
Those wild allegations were unsealed in a federal search warrant that details the crime.READ MORE: Stanislaus Animal Shelter In Need Of Towels, Chew Toys After 150 Dogs Rescued From Suspected Puppy Mill
It reads like a movie script: high-priced diamonds and watches. Airplanes, limos and guns.
Buddy Kirn and his family saw their next-door neighbor’s home searched by federal agents driving an armored car and wearing fatigues.
“It’s not every day you get the FBI busting down the house,” he said. “They had percussion grenades. It was exciting.”
Court documents reveal the details of an alleged crazy and calculated conspiracy by a robbery crew that includes a man who lives at the Tracy home raided by the feds.READ MORE: Heat Safety: Why Leaving A Child Or Pet In A Locked Car Can Be Dangerous
The suspects would contact sellers on Craigslist who were advertising high-priced jewelry: 2- and 3-carat diamond rings, Rolex and Cartier watches all ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 apiece.
The search warrant says the alleged robbers would lure the sellers across the country, purchasing plane tickets and renting limos to pick them up at the airport. They would then ambush them in the limos at gunpoint.
“Robbing people at gunpoint, that’s just a shame for anyone to have to go through that,” said neighbor Aaron Navarro, “and especially being scammed into it and getting their money stolen. It’s unfortunate.”
The FBI counts 18 separate heists from Southern California to Portland to Indianapolis to cities in Colorado and Washington.
The FBI identified the man living in the Tracy home as 40-year-old Michael Martin, who also goes by Diesel.MORE NEWS: Dogs, Horses, Cats And Exotic Birds Rescued From Sutter County Property; 2 People Suspected Of Animal Abuse
Neighbors say he has a wife and two children, including a 10-year-old girl.