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Twists and turns as police investigate LeBron James pendant case

Jul 17, 2010, 10:34 AM EDT

LeBron_stares.jpgUPDATE 7/17 10:34 am: So maybe our innocent heroine is not so innocent.

Vaneisha Robinson, the woman who said she bought the pendant at a garage sale four years ago, is now a suspect in the case for receiving stolen property. Her story always had one big question mark: Someone really sold a $10,000 pendant at a garage sale for $5? Let’s assume for a second that someone did steal this, they would have some idea it was valuable, right? They wouldn’t just pawn it off for $5.

This does not excuse the awkward handling of the situation by Carter and his mother. But it sounds like nobody is really innocent in this case.

7/16 9:25 am: Maverick Carter is LeBron James right hand man. He helped convince LeBron that “The Decision” was a good marketing idea. He’s LeBron’s close friend, the CEO of LeBron’s marketing company, LRMR.

He’s in the middle of a police investigation for harassing a woman over the sale of a pendant. He’s on quite the roll of good decisions.

Four years ago, Vaneisha Robinson bought a pendant for $5 at a garage sale in the Cleveland area. The pendant shaped like a LeBron James jersey and encrusted with jewels saying “King 23” on it, according to WEWS news out of Cleveland. Because she paid $5 she assumed it was costume jewelry.

Until she had it appraised recently and found out the diamonds and other jewels were real, and it was worth about $10,000. So she put it up for sale on eBay, and WEWS did a cute little story on it.

Wednesday, Robinson got a call from Katherine L. Powers, Maverick Carter’s mother.

“[Powers] said that LeBron James was at her house and they wanted me to come over there. They were going to make me an offer that I couldn’t refuse,” Robinson said.

It turned out the one-of-a-kind pendant belongs to Carter, who claims it was stolen. Robinson said she and her mother went to the Wadsworth house Carter shares with his mother, believing James was going to buy the pendant and give it back to Carter.

“When I got there, LeBron James was not there. It was about eight or nine other people there,” Robinson said. “They pretty much accused me, they threatened me and they used their authority to they (sic) best ability to get the pendant in their possession…

“They blocked (Robinson’s mother’s) truck in the driveway. They told us that we weren’t going anywhere until they got that pendant. I was scared for my life,” she said

Police were called out, and when they got there everyone was gone and Powers had the pendant.

Robinson is now taking the whole thing to court and the police are investigating.

Have fun with the circus, Miami.

  1. BIG JOHN - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Again, this is the media(male white dominated media), looking to tarnish Lebron by going after his friends. Look none of us were there, and more importantly Lebron Jmaes was not there. For all we know, is this Robinson was acting on his own behalf. And if he used his bosses name, by telling the young lady that Lebron was at her house when he wasn’t. He should be fired. And plus, i don’t believe Lebron would pull a stunt like that. It smells fishy to me. Lebron decides to leave the fish bowl called Cleveland, OH. and decides to take his B-ball game to Miami, and all of a sudden a story like this pops up. Come on guys can’t you do better than this. This guy(Lebron) has lived and displayed an exemplary career (7 years) in Cleveland. Stopped trying to blemish by using third parties to smear his name. Again can’t you guys do better than this.

  2. joe - Jul 16, 2010 at 8:26 PM

    All of you whining hypocritical Cavs fans will follow your precious Dan Gilbert into the NBA draft lottery.
    Mike Brown is somewhere laughing his but off.

  3. monkradio - Jul 16, 2010 at 9:19 PM

    had a marketing meeting with maverick – when he wasn’t noodling his balls inside his pocket – he had his hand up his own shirt playing with his nipples… was kind of gross – a kid with monopoly money livin’ the dream.
    this whole charade has gone on long enough – LeBron will be on the remake of The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.

  4. neutral fan - Jul 16, 2010 at 10:08 PM

    You give way too much credit to thugs. A 911 call was placed by a neighbor who was concerned about the commotion. Just because his name or number is on it doesnt make it valuable. I got a vintage James T-shirt for a buck before he decided ( sorry, before he let us in on it )that he was gone.
    And she bought it 4 years ago, not after the loss. Plus who carries around a tape recorder? I hope you sell something on E-bay or wherever and get accused of being a thief. Then I’ll bet you ask for at least the presumption of innocence.

  5. Lady D - Jul 16, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson, Jesse Jackson(s), Al Sharpton, Koby Bryant, and on and on and on…There is so much going on in this country such as job lost, hunger, homelessness and illegal aliens. You guys are hate mongers and Christians gone crazy(of are not like the Jesus I know of)..Come on, can you people not realize that there is more to worry about than worry about sports people. You guys are the ones paying all this ticket money for the games and buying their shoes and clothing. Do you think you have the right to boss these people around. Leave them alone. Spend your time trying to ask God to give you a good heart and be part of the human race. Put up your racist armor and bow down and ask for repentance. Spend time looking at the man/woman in the mirror. Get a life…..

  6. fiveiron - Jul 16, 2010 at 10:52 PM

    A league full of million dollar talent and ten-cent brains.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 16, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    thanx d rock i could not have said it better !!!! . send them back to the jungle chasing monkees

  8. Cordae - Jul 16, 2010 at 11:20 PM

    I mean this is a SPORTS column =/….if you want to worry about other things, why post here? just asking. I care about other things also but i dont voice my opinion on them because they are not the topic at hand, here at least….

  9. george p - Jul 17, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    Ok, let’s assume the extremely valuable diamond-encrusted pendant was legitimately acquired for $5 at a yard sale, although that could be a dishonest retelling of the exact way the pendant ended up in Ms. Robinson’s posession. However, at the very least after the pendant was appraised for $10,000 or more it should have been clear to Ms. Robinson that the item was likely stolen or at the very least lost. Anyone with an ounce of brain matter would have made that connection right after the appraisal showed a $9,995.00 discrepancy between true item value and actual purchase price. So, they logically figured that this lady was party to the theft or at least knows the thief, which appears to be a plausible conclusion. I don’t fault them for trying to get the pendant back by contacting the person and talking about buying it back, then confronting the seller.
    Here is where it gets tricky for the seller: She claims that she was prevented from leaving the premises. Short of a video tape actually showing this event it is just an accusation that appears to be unprovable. The article states that “when the police got there, everyone was gone,” so how would the police be able to reconstruct anything, especially a supposed strong arming, car blockade, etc.? Simply can’t be done. That Robinson is “now taking the whole thing to court” only means that she is filing a civil lawsuit to get the valuable pendant back she believes is hers because she supposedly (and perhaps honestly) bought it at a yard sale. If the other side can show that the item is legitimately theirs, which appears likely, given the one-of-a-kind nature of the custom-made pendant, she will probably end with nothing. Had she contacted LeBron immediately after realizing the true value of the item she probably would have ended up with a finder’s fee of some kind.
    Likely outcomes:
    1. The police is not going to press charges on an unprovable “he said, she said” accusation.
    2. Ms. Robinson’s civil suit will end up in a dismissal, as long as the other side shows fairly convincingly that the pendant was custom made for LeBron or someone in his family. For it to end up at a yard sale and sold for a pittance (if that actually occured) is immaterial to the desire of the courts to see to it that stolen or lost valuables are returned to their rightful owners.
    3. If Ms. Robinson is not telling the truth about the way the pendant was acquired and she is either involved in the theft or knows the thief it is highly unlikely that she would face repercussions at this point, unless there is a previous petty theft record of some kind to create suspicion or the actual culprit steps forward. If Ms. Robinson is telling the truth and the item was indeed purchased at a yard sale for $5.00, she was simply a victim of circumstances beyond her control, although I do maintain that she should have realized the likely chain of events as to the whereabouts and origins of the item after the appraisal took place.
    Nothing here, really. Looks like the rightful owners are in possession of the pendant again, and that will likely remain to be the case after the civil suit (if it is indeed filed) is over.

  10. Lion Woods - Jul 17, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    this is one more reason why I just feel that LeBron being the talent level he possesses, still hasn’t attained that particular attitude and swagger to be champion. Kobe knows how to win the big game and take home the hardware. It is not so much Lebron but who is surrounding this young buck. If Lebron can stay focused on the task at hand and not allow the circus type celeb filled TMZ type sideshow perhaps then it will be time for him to take the reigns. It is apparent to me that this year is simply experiemental and he will need to trim the bushes before it is time to take the ultimate prize.

  11. Anonymous - Jul 17, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    well said

  12. someday CLE... - Jul 17, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    I hope DWade has to babysit him. Maybe he could show Bron some parenting skills. His mother sure hasn’t. Obviously, neither of their mothers are very good.

  13. Chet - Jul 17, 2010 at 8:03 PM

    No, I think it’s actually James, who (in many people’s minds) is just reinforcing stereotypes…
    you know what I mean, a true bigot’s gonna think ‘there’s another black man who
    -basically successful because while he IS a great athlete,
    if he was short and sucked at sports he would have to rely more on his intellect and a work ethic based on the real world..
    IE, I don’t see James working for any “Brain Trusts”, let me put it that way…
    And I don’t mean yeah sure when he’s on the court he (usually) gives it his all but get real here, he’s not digging ditches for $6.50/hr
    I don’t see this man having any character at all he’d be in the unemployment line if he had to ‘work’ (No!! Not THAT!!) for a living
    – he’s a an extreme textbook narcissist who has deluded himself that he actually means anything in this world further than putting a ball in a metal ring…. the king you have got to be kidding
    – he greedy and disloyal (obviously), turning his back on anyone or anything that would stand in the way of getting what he is entitled to (Adoration, money, fame, ego stokes) it’s only about him he’s proved that
    This is a type of guy who puts on his headphones before bed and
    is gently rocked to sleep by an audio track loop of 1,000’s of cheering adoring worshipers

  14. Anonymous - Jul 17, 2010 at 9:23 PM

    we will

  15. BP Hater - Jul 17, 2010 at 11:44 PM

    All you people are a funny bunch.
    There really are serious problems in the world. Maybe you guys should spend a little time reading about them. (If ya’all can actually read)

  16. me - Jul 18, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    I can’t stand it when people place the race card. Lebron can handle a round ball and for this he makes millions. He is not a rocket scientist or an intellectual. He is a DUMB ball throwing home boy. Lebron is looking at a multi-million mansion in Miami and he has his home boy thugs kidnap and harrass a young women over a TACKY necklace. Come on people, there was never a police report for any stolen necklace. This has nothing to do with race. This has to do with class, intellect, and knowing right from wrong. You can’t take the ghetto out of guy. I personally could care less about some ball throwing thug. Miami can have him. He is not even in the same league as Michael Jordon, Larry Bird, Jabar. He makes more than the president which is just a reflection of our sick society.

  17. DJ - Jul 18, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    Are you serious!? So they “think” she stole it, so they can steal it back from her? How in the hell do you know it was theirs in the first place. All we “know” is that the pendant is Vaneisha Robinson’s, and until Lebrons thugs can show proof otherwise, it’s her word against theirs. (and she’ll win every time) You can’t just say, “Hey, that pendant looks like my old one. I’m going to strong arm her and get it back even though I have no proof.

  18. Laina - Jul 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    The gal that had the ‘jewelry’ for so long seems to be the owner. Possesion is what percentage of the law? On top of that, she has wealthy, powerful people trying to con,threaten and scare her out of it. Sounds like grounds for a lawsuit to me….and Ms. Powers and cohorts being the defendants. Why doesn’t LeBron James step in and do the right thing….buy it, and generously so, from the Robinson gal IF no proof or thought of legal impropriety on her part~?
    Regardless, makes the Powers woman sound like a cheap, witchy thug~!

  19. amanda hugginkiss - Jul 18, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    that’s why we have artest

  20. Rehana Farooqi - Jul 19, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    I think Vaneisha Robinson is being treated unfairly by law. She is innocent and not a suspect in my eyes. How did she know it was stolen? I think the right thing the cops should do is go to the house of the yard sale where she bought it. That is the real theif. My advice to anyone is if you have bought anything that you know it is genuine or very pricey and don’t know where it originally came from, don’t sell it somewhere nationally like e-bay. It could really get you into trouble. Privately may be better but still you should not go around advertising it or putting on a big display. I think the real theif was afraid of getting caught maybe and thought of throwing it in a yard sale and asked any cheap price.

  21. Lila - Jul 19, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    Enjoy your bitterness, Kurt 😉

  22. Tim - Jul 24, 2010 at 3:44 AM

    The pendant was never reported stolen. Somehow it ended it the hands of Robinson. I think Robinson was a victim in this. Carter could reach in his pocket for spare change of $10,000.Blog Commenting Service

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