West Salem jeweler charged with scamming customers faces 18 new accusations

A Portland man charged with scamming customers of his west Salem jewelry business is now facing accusations from 18 other people reporting losses which now total at least $700,000, the Salem Police Department announced in a news release.

The police agency said a total 27 victims have come forward after doing business with Douglas W. Gamble and his store, Timeless Jeweler at 1105 Edgewater St. N.W.

Gamble, 57, is accused of scamming customers who brought in jewelry for repairs, modifications or appraisal, including replacing real diamonds with lab-grown synthetic ones. In other instances, customers alleged Gamble suddenly closed his shop without returning their jewelry, according to a Salem police affidavit.

A Polk County grand jury on Sept. 21 indicted Gamble on six counts of aggravated first-degree theft and five counts of first-degree theft, the indictment showed.

The additional 18 victims reported losses after Salem police first announced the accusations against Gamble. Police referred the new cases to Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton’s office, seeking multiple additional charges of theft and aggravated theft, according to the police statement.

Felton declined to comment on the nature of the new accusations because prosecutors’ investigation was still pending.

Gamble’s business designed, repaired and consigned jewelry, Salem police said in a statement after his arrest. The department said at the time that it began looking at Gamble as a person of interest after a series of customers filed reports beginning in late 2022.

He closed his shop in late October 2022, according to the police affidavit.

Gamble was arrested on Sept. 15 and booked into the Polk County Jail, where he remained in custody as of Wednesday. He is being held on $1.25 million bail.

Additional court proceedings are scheduled for Nov. 15, court records showed.

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.