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Man Stole Jewelry During Lunch Break of Robbery Trial

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on October 11, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Mark Burgen was on trial for armed robbery. And apparently he decided to use his court-mandated lunch break to steal jewelry during his own hearing.

Burgen stole about $30,000 of jewelry including diamond bracelets from Walton's Antique Jewelry store in Franklin, Tennessee during the court's recess.

In fact, a store employee initially caught Burgen red-handed with a Rolex. Burgen handed over the stolen watch and apologized before dashing off with the rest of the stolen goods.

He allegedly stashed the jewelry in the bushes outside the courtroom so he wouldn’t set off the metal detector when he returned to court.

Burgen was found guilty of robbery in his initial trial.

Moments after the verdict, he was nabbed by police on a second charge after they figured out he was behind the jewelry heist.

Strange, right? Especially given the circumstances.

In many places, criminal defendants are often handcuffed and escorted in and out of the room when the court takes breaks. During a lunch break, sometimes defendants are escorted back to a holding cell.

Why was Burgen allowed out and about by himself? That much is unclear.

It’s also not clear why Burgen decided to nab some jewelry in the first place. Perhaps he was trying to make some extra cash so he can pay for his legal fees? Attorneys are expensive, after all.

Though if Burgen was assigned a public defender for his original criminal case he typically wouldn’t have to pay any legal fees. Public defenders are usually paid for by the government.

Whatever the case, it seems that Mark Burgen will be having another date with the court again. Hopefully he won’t steal jewelry during this trial.

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