Verdict in Possession of Stolen Property Case
Man Who Stole Clothing and Keepsake Jewelry from Tourist Face 5 Years in Prison

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced a guilty verdict in a possession of stolen property trial that began last Monday.  The defendant in the case, Chris Kelly (aka Chris Kelley), 35, was charged with possessing jewelry and clothing stolen from a guest of a downtown casino.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and sentencing is set for May 3, 2017 in District Court.

On September 9, 2016, the Reno Police Department (RPD) was called to a downtown casino to investigate a suspicious person loitering around the casino’s hotel rooms.  The man had been seen stuffing newspaper into door locks in an apparent attempt to disable their locking mechanisms.  When RPD officers arrived, they identified Kelly as the suspicious person.  When questioned, Kelly led officers to a room and luggage he claimed was his. Kelly was not registered to the room and one piece of luggage contained women’s clothing and jewelry that had been stolen from a guest of the casino. Kelly was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him. The case proceeded to trial and Kelly was found guilty on one count of Possession of Stolen Property after a three day jury trial that concluded last Wednesday.

At trial, Deputy District Attorney Nathan MacLellan introduced photographs of the victim’ s clothing and jewelry, all of which was found in the luggage the defendant claimed as his own.  The victim, who was staying in a room 2 doors down from where the defendant was located, took the stand and testified that her luggage had disappeared from her room when she and her husband went sightseeing in Virginia City.  She identified all of the belongings as hers, including a designer cancer awareness scarf she purchased after completing chemotherapy.  According to the victim, some of her belongings were never recovered, including chemotherapy medication, a bracelet from her daughter and a ring she considered “priceless” as it was a gift from her mother. Following the verdict, the victim expressed gratitude for diligent work on this case and stated she will happily return to the Reno area, which she and her husband visit regularly. 

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Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »