Aurora man accused of bilking Thornton jewelry store customers out of more than $147,000

Pictured: David Kushnir. Photo provided by the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

AURORA | An Aurora man accused of swindling nearly a dozen people out of almost $150,000 through phony jewelry sales has been arrested and charged with felony theft, Adams County prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Police arrested David Aaron Kushnir, 37, at his Aurora home on East Linvale Drive Tuesday, according to a press release issued by the office of Dave Young, district attorney for the 17th Judicial District.

Kushnir appeared in Adams County Court to be advised of his charges this morning.

Kushnir is accused of bilking at least 11 different customers who brought luxury watches, diamonds and gold to his jewelry store, D & D Jewelers in Thornton, to consign or repair.

An arrest affidavit filed against Kushnir Monday estimates people who took their jewelry to his store lost a total of $147,281.25.

A woman named Agnus Baker suffered the biggest financial loss at the hands of Kushnir in late 2016 and early 2017 when she asked him to repair a Rolex watch and make a pair of earrings out of 46 grams of 14k yellow gold, according to the affidavit. 

Kushnir reportedly removed a movement piece valued at $40,000 from the watch and replaced it with “a Chinese piece,” according to the affidavit. Baker told police the earrings Kushnir made her appeared fake and made her ears “itch, turn red and burn.” After demanding Kushnir re-make the earrings, Baker told police she believed the second pair of earrings was also fake and “had only been spray painted with yellow gold paint.”

Other people who lost money at Kushnir’s shop near the intersection of East 120th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Thornton had asked him to repair or fashion wedding rings, ankle bracelets and diamonds, among other pieces of jewelry, priced at thousands of dollars.

Police were receiving theft reports related to Kushnir’s shop from late 2016 until Dec. 3 of last year.

Kushnir has been previously arrested in Colorado for car theft, drug possession and other charges, according to his arresting document.

Kushnir is due next in court at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 in Division 5 of Adams County Court.