Guilderland Jeweler, charged larceny, says he was victimized by employee


Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

David Sellie, shown here a year ago in his store in Guilderland’s Star Plaza.

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland Police arrested David E. Sellie, owner of David’s Unique Jewelers, on three counts of grand larceny on April 11, stating in a release that they had received numerous complaints that Sellie failed to return jewelry or compensate customers who had placed jewelry on consignment or brought it in for repair.

Deputy Chief Curtis Cox of the Guilderland Police said on April 12 that, since issuing the release the day before, the department had had “many, many complaints of similar issues,” and was expanding its investigation.

However, Sellie’s attorney, Michael McDermott, told The Enterprise that Sellie was “victimized by an unscrupulous employee who took property of his and of his customers.” McDermott said of Sellie, “He is going to make sure any customers who were affected are made whole, and we hope to get this whole matter resolved quickly.”

Told about the attorney’s claim, Cox said of Sellie, “I think our investigators are looking into the variety of things he has said. So if he said that to them, I’m sure they are looking into it.”

Sellie, of 2792 West Lydius St., Guilderland, was charged with two counts of third-degree grand larceny and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, all felonies.

He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty in Guilderland Town Court before Town Justice John Bailey and is due back in court on June 13, according to court Clerk Jennifer Stephens.

David’s Unique Jewelry is located at 2050 Western Ave., in Star Plaza. A year ago, after 16 years at Hamilton Square, Sellie moved his shop to the adjacent mall, Star Plaza, a location that Sellie said at the time was twice as large.

Sellie told The Enterprise in a story about the move to the new location that he specialized in custom designs and restoration of old jewelry. At the time, he told The Enterprise that transforming a mother’s or grandmother’s treasures that may be outdated into more modern styles is a specialty that allows customers to honor memories while using and enjoying the jewelry.

Elizabeth Ahearn, who arranged the Enterprise interview with Sellie a year ago, said this week that she knows Sellie as talented and generous. She wrote this week in an email that she had not been a store employee but that she had “loved volunteering to help them, as a fan.”

Ahearn wrote, “I have been David’s satisfied customer for 30 years. I continue to receive compliments on the beautiful custom pieces he has created for me.” She added that she has known Sellie to lend jewelry to customers free-of-charge for weddings and proms, and said he could be counted on to donate gift certificates to local fundraisers and not-for-profit organizations such as Community Caregivers.

Bob Nopper of Altamont told The Enterprise this week that Sellie has failed to return “several sheets worth of inventory” to his elderly mother, who had placed a number of jewelry items in the store on consignment. Sellie never returned the jewelry, Nopper said, adding that his mother went to the store several times, but Sellie was never in.

No one answered the phone at David’s Unique Jewelers on Monday, and there was no way to leave a message. Calls to Sellie’s cell phone number were not returned.

Cox suggested that anyone with concerns can give the department a call. ​

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