FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Florence Police officers arrested a former Morgan Jewelers owner on warrants over the weekend.
Charlotte Couch Killen, 60, of Killen was indicted for theft of property 1st and theft of property 2nd. The indictment alleges that Killen, while still in business, had taken customer items in on consignment. It alleges that when her store closed earlier this year, she never paid or returned the items to the original owners after the victims contacted her multiple times.
Betty Smith was one of those apparent victims. We put her in contact with Killen in July after the ‘For Sale’ sign went up without warning in the window of Morgan Jewelers in the K-Mart Shopping Center in Florence.
“The very day after this showed on Channel 19 News, she called me and said, ‘I lost your phone number, that’s the reason I haven’t gotten in touch with you’,” Smith explained.
At that time in July, Killen told WHNT News 19 she was doing what she could to return property back to customers like Smith.
“Then she called back and told me that the watch was ready that she could get it in two weeks because the people were gone on vacation,” she said. “Then she said they wouldn’t send it without paying for it first. So, I wrote her a check on July 22 for $125. Then I didn’t hear another word from her.”
Smith said she called Killen last week and was told they were having trouble getting the parts in Tennessee, after she was already told the watch was ready to be sent back. Smith said it’s an $800 dollar watch that belonged to her husband who passed away. She was restoring it for her great-grandson.
Now, she doubts she will ever see the watch again.
“I thought she was a decent, reputable business owner. She’s been in this town doing this for years. But, I guess I was mistaken.”
Killen was released on $23,000 bond.
Some customers do claim that they have met up with Killen and retrieved their property since the closing. If you have property on consignment with Morgan Jewelers please email firstname.lastname@example.org.