West Salem jeweler accused of scamming customers

A Portland man is accused of scamming customers of his west Salem jewelry business out of at least $250,000, the Salem Police Department announced in a news release.

Prosecutors charged Douglas W. Gamble, 57, on Monday in Polk County Circuit Court with three counts of aggravated first-degree theft, according to court documents.

The charges allege Gamble stole at least $30,000 from a woman, according to court documents. But police said in the news release that ten victims reported losing money and property when doing business with Gamble, owner of Timeless Jeweler at 1105 Edgewater St. N.W.

Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton on Monday confirmed there was more than one victim but declined to comment further. He said he requested that a judge seal a probable cause affidavit for Gamble’s arrest to protect the privacy of victims.

Gamble is accused of stealing gemstones and jewelry from customers he contracted with. His business designed, repaired and consigned jewelry, according to the Salem police statement.

The department said it began looking at Gamble as a person of interest after a series of customers filed reports beginning in late 2022. 

“In some cases, customers reported lab-grown stones were sold as natural diamonds, or diamond jewelry settings were swapped with synthetic stones. Other customers reported never receiving purchased items or pieces left with the shop for repair, or other services. The store unexpectedly closed last October without notification to customers or the return of their property,” according to the news release.

Police said Gamble’s customers faced $250,000 in losses, described in the statement as a “conservative estimate.”

Gamble surrendered to detectives on Friday and was booked into Polk County Jail, where he was being held on $100,000 bail as of Monday afternoon.

More court proceedings are scheduled for Sept. 25, court records showed.

Salem police asked anyone who has had similar experiences with Gamble through his store or online to file a police report by calling the agency’s non-emergency line at 503-588-6123 and selecting option one.

Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian: [email protected] or 503-929-3053.

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Ardeshir Tabrizian has covered criminal justice and housing for Salem Reporter since September 2021. As an Oregon native, his award-winning watchdog journalism has traversed the state. He has done reporting for The Oregonian, Eugene Weekly and Malheur Enterprise.