Suspect nabbed in Walter Payton jewelry heist - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Suspect nabbed in Walter Payton jewelry heist

An NFL coin with Walter Payton's likeness may be the most recognizable, but all of the jewelry recovered Wednesday is precious in price and sentiment. All of it was stolen in September from the home of Payton's mother in Jackson, Mississippi.

"We're not sure if this is all the jewelry, but we believe it's the majority of the jewelry taken from Mrs. Payton," says Detective Fred Nelson with Jackson, MS Police.

Andrew Thrash is accused of taking it with help from a female accomplice.

"One of the individuals knew something about the Payton residence," says Jackson Police Detective William Waples.

The two allegedly flashed a phony ID and fake badge, posing as federal officers to gain access to Payton's home.

"And they informed her of counterfeit money in the area and wanted to examine bills and any jewelry she had at the time," says Nelson.

Thrash was arrested for the crime, but skipped town after posting bond. The Shelby County Sheriff's Department and Jackson Police found Thrash at a house on Julia Street in Frayser. A woman was also arrested, but her identity has not been confirmed.

"And I'm just glad we could work with Jackson Mississippi and recover some of this merchandise and return it to the mother," says Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell.

It ensures that at least part of Walter Payton's legacy will remain with his family. Police say suspect Andrew Thrash already has a lengthy record in five states. He was expected to be extradited back to Jackson, Mississippi sometime Thursday

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