Jewelry thieves steal thousands of dollars of jewelry at Santa Fe Indian Market

Vincent Schilling

Two women in black hats and sunglasses reportedly take a $1,500 bracelet as artists’ 12-yr-old daughter watches in shock

Santa Fe police have responded to at least six reports of high-end jewelry theft at the Santa Fe Indian Market, several of the pieces were worth thousands of dollars. The Indian Market lauded as the worlds largest juried Indian art market in the world took place August 17th and 18th.

A 46-year-old artisan Jerry Gaussoin, Navajo and Picuris Pueblo, told the Santa Fe New Mexicanthat he took a 20-minute break from his booth, leaving his brother and 12-year-old daughter to watch. When he returned, he says his daughter had seen two women in their 50s wearing dark glasses, black dresses and flat-brimmed black felt hats, walk up to the booth, try on a gold and turquoise bracelet and put it into their purse.

Gaussions daughter Kehascah said to the New Mexican, I was panicking and I didnt know what to do I was like, Oh my gosh, what am I going to tell my dad?

Gaussoin said that he and his daughter walked around the market trying to locate the women, but were not successful. According to the police report, the 14-carat gold, double-chain bracelet with turquoise was valued at $1,500.

Gaussion says his perspective has now changed. He has always kept his jewelry on display so that interested buyers could engage with the jewelry. Now his is looking into encasing his jewelry and getting a security camera.

I wouldve never have thought of doing something like this, said Gaussion. But now maybe I will.

Elizabeth Kirk, Navajo and Isleta Pueblo, the chair of the board for the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, says someone stole a ring from her booth Saturday afternoon. Having sold at the Indian Market for four years, she has never had anything stolen before.

Saturday Kirk noticed the $450 silver ring with sugilite stones was missing. Courtesy

Kirk says things get so busy, it is hard to notice everything, but there isnt much she can do as theft is often a concern for artists.

Estella Loretto, Jemez Pueblo, says she also saw two women come to her booth to look at a pendant and bracelet. Loretto who values the bracelet with star designs and diamonds at $4,800 and her silver and turquoise starburst pendant at $2,100 turned to help another customer and when she looked back, the women and the jewelry was gone.

Santa Fe police spokesman Greg Gurulé said the police department had five police officers and two animal control officers stationed at Indian Market on Saturday. According to a police report, there was no known suspect, witness, evidence or surveillance.

Follow Indian Country Todays associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling


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Comments (3)
No. 1-2

Thieves and robbers are more and more brazen....why do you think 7211's Circle K's now have SECURITY patrolling the store perimeter? Most Wal-Marts and Target Stores now have SECURITY posted at the door entrances/exits to prevent "crash and carry" events of running out of stores carrying high-valued store (unpaid) gear! Crash and carry is what is seen for the future of this outdoor market!


It is a sad reflection of out society today! The problem is getting worse and not going to stop anytime soon. One unfortunately change with the time's. Display cases and two adults at all times at a both. One item at a time. Local Rolex store with ALL the security camera's was ripped off of a $35,000 gold Rolex by a sleigh of hand thief and new clerk!