Grain Valley man says Independence jewelry store swapped Rolex for knock-off

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- All Jay Campbell wanted was to have a two links removed in the Rolex watch he planned to give to his son. Months later he’s suing the jewelry store, claiming they swapped his Rolex for a cheap initiation.

“They buy Rolexes and fix them, “ the Grain Valley resident said, explaining why he chose Gold Rush Exchange last June to work on his Rolex.

The store's manager promised he would have the links in the watch band removed that same day on June 5. But that didn’t happen.

“We went back three times that day, and he said he had been too busy and hadn't gotten to it,” Campbell said.

Ten days later and still no watch.

Jay Campbell

Gold Rush Exchange told Campbell that it had taken the watch apart trying to clean the watch – something Campbell had never requested – and inadvertently damaged it.

The manager promised to replace with Rolex with another of equal value – estimated between $2,400 and $4,000. That replacement Rolex never arrived.

Finally, Campbell demanded his original watch back. But the watch he was given, he said, was not the watch he dropped off.

It’s got a Rolex crown on the face, but experts told us it’s a $20, most likely Chinese, knock-off. It face it doesn’t even work. Even a non-expert can tell by looking at a photo of the two watches that they look almost nothing alike.

The “Rolex” Campbell received back from Gold Rush Exchange has a clock face that looks like its been etched with acid.

Campbell tried to file a police report, but Independence Police claimed it was a civil matter. When police wouldn’t help him, Campbell filed a lawsuit and called the FOX4 Problem Solvers.

But before FOX4 could even pay a visit to Gold Rush Exchange, owner Bill Reneau was arrested and indicted by the feds for conspiracy to destroy a rival’s business – Bobby Jackson’s Trading in Independence.

According to the indictment, Reneau paid a man to drive his vehicle through the company’s front window and to later try and burn the store down.

“Wow, wow, it’s hard to believe,” said owner Bob Foster, who had once worked for Reneau, but quit after observing business practices that he thought were unethical and even dishonest.

Reneau is in federal custody awaiting trial.

William "Bill" Reneau

But where does that leave Campbell and his missing Rolex? Although he’s filed a small claims suit against Gold Rush Exchange, he doubts even if he wins that he will ever see the money.

Problem Solvers contacted Reneau’s wife, Robin, who’s now running the business. She told us through a friend that she wants to restore the company’s name.

FOX4 suggested a good start would be giving Campbell back his watch or enough money to replace it. Robin asked for two days to look into the issue and then asked Campbell to meet with her at Gold Rush Exchange’s shop on 40 Highway in Independence.

“I showed her all the evidence I had,” said Campbell, including receipts from the shop clearly identifying the watch as a Rolex.

Instead of giving Campbell his money back, Robin claimed she’d need two more weeks to come up with a refund.

Gold Rush Exchange

That surprised Problem Solvers since the Reneaus own a Cadillac Escalade and a Corvette, plus live in a million dollar Johnson County home.

Problem Solvers will revisit this problem in two weeks. If Campbell still doesn’t have his refund, Bill and Robin Reneau will become official members of the FOX4 Problem Solvers Hall of Shame.

Meanwhile, Campbell heads to court at the end of this month.