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(8,428 posts)
Mon Sep 10, 2018, 10:53 AM Sep 2018

I think the Op-Ed writer is

Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick.

I'm sorry. I'm trying to calm my nerves. The young man who stole three rings from me ($16,000 worth, the only really expensive things I have) meets me in a courtroom in a few hours.

Amazingly, I got all three rings back - two from one pawn shop, and one from another pawn shop farther away. Long story - and interesting one, I think.

I expect the young man will plea. He was on probation when he stole them, so I don't know how that works. I've asked for $100 in restitution for the money I used as a down payment for the most expensive ring at the pawn shop. I'll let you know how it goes. I can use some good vibes right now - and thanks

9 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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I think the Op-Ed writer is (Original Post) phylny Sep 2018 OP
Good vibes your way! Cracklin Charlie Sep 2018 #1
Thank you! phylny Sep 2018 #3
Best of luck... Wounded Bear Sep 2018 #2
Thanks! phylny Sep 2018 #4
I'm going to add the entire story here. It's long, feel free to skip it LOL phylny Sep 2018 #5
What an amazing story. mnhtnbb Sep 2018 #6
I live in a rural area, and I know that's the only reason I got them phylny Sep 2018 #7
The most worrisome thing is that the pawn shop PoindexterOglethorpe Sep 2018 #8
I've known Colonel Mustard for years ProfessorPlum Sep 2018 #9

Wounded Bear

(59,250 posts)
2. Best of luck...
Mon Sep 10, 2018, 11:09 AM
Sep 2018

presumably, if he was on probation when he committed the crime he will have to do real time behind bars.

Glad to hear you got your rings back, so many people don't recover valuables that are stolen.

Best wishes.

(You should probably have asked for more money as restitution )


(8,428 posts)
5. I'm going to add the entire story here. It's long, feel free to skip it LOL
Mon Sep 10, 2018, 11:16 AM
Sep 2018

Two days before A & C wedding, on September 28, I went to get a ring out of my jewelry box to see if I needed to clean it so I could wear it for the wedding. This jewelry box is in our closet, up on a built-in, on a shelf – not easily visible, but not hidden. The ring was not there. I looked and looked and immediately blamed myself, thinking I'd been careless and misplaced it. I knew, though, that I ALWAYS put this ring back in my jewelry box in the same spot, because it's not one I wear all the time – it tends to break through my nitrile gloves when I'm working.

Then, after crying to my husband and after wracking my brain to try to remember what I might have done with this ring, I look again and realize THREE rings are gone, including two that we had made for two of our daughters from one ring of my late mother's.

We have people in and out all the time – the cleaning people and dog walker have keys to my house. We had carpet cleaners and landscapers and repair people in or around the house preparing for the wedding. So many people!

First, I sent a text to a lovely young woman who had just been house/dog sitting the weekend before – I KNEW she was trustworthy and honest but I had told her she could invite a friend – had she? No, she said she had not. I assured her that I knew she would never do anything wrong. I had to contact her before making the next call to the cleaning company.

I'm so sorry to have to ask this, I started, because I absolutely trust the women who come here to clean (and I really do), but one time I remember that there was a young man here cleaning, someone I did not know....

“He no longer works for us.”

Whoa, I thought. Okay, that changes my next question to, “Did any of your other customers report anything missing?”

“Just one.” Then she said, “I'm gonna kill him. Ten years in business, and this is the first time we've ever had thefts.”

Okay, wow. He actually stole them September 1.

She told me to call a local pawn shop and she was going to call the former worker turned thief. Husband as on the phone with the insurance company and then the police while I called the pawn shop. I described all three rings. The young woman at the shop said, “Let me call you back.”

In the meantime, the owner of the cleaning company called me back and said that the thief confessed to her that he is indeed a thief and did steal three rings and brought all three to the same pawn shop.

Pawn shop calls back and tells me to describe the rings. I do, in great detail because Husband and I had them made, two rings from one – I know everything about them. “In fact, on the ring with the three diamonds across, one of the diamonds is slightly smaller than the other two.”

“You think?” she asked.

“I KNOW.” When we had the ring made, the jeweler told us so.

I was told I could come down to the pawn shop and pick them up for $200. Uh, okay. I'll get right back to you.

I called the police and told them two of the rings had been located. Deputy goes and retrieves them brings them to me at our house and yup, they're mine. “They weren't very nice to me,” he told me.

That left the more valuable of the three rings still missing. The ring was originally my mother-in-law's, but when I got it after she died, the center stone was a very poor quality cubic zirconia – cz in platinum with diamond baguettes on the side. At the time, we couldn't figure out when a real diamond would have been taken out and replaced or whose ring it originally was. We surmised it had been Jeff's step-grandmother's. We went to a local jeweler and shopped for a new diamond center stone to replace the CZ in what I can only describe as a fun, playful, and joyful process, all made possible by Husband eff who was happy to buy it. He really made it wonderful. But I digress.

So, the thief said all three were pawned at the same place, the pawn shop said they only got two. Here's where I think it gets interesting.

In Virginia, and maybe other places, jewelers and pawn shops have to get photo identification from everyone who sells or pawns something, and they have to send a nightly inventory to the local police department. Two of the rings were reported to the police, but not three. We know who the thief is. So, who is lying? The thief, or the pawn shop owner? I'm being hounded by...what? A voice. A mental nudge? Maybe it's the Holy Spirit, if the Holy Spirit does non-spiritual, St. Anthony work (Catholics, maybe just Italian Catholics, will know what I'm talking about). I was continually prodded – go look, go look, go look. Don't be afraid, look!

Fast forward to Saturday, October 15. Husband and I brainstorm. We have already called, the police have called, the cleaners have called, and the pawn shop says they don't have the ring. So, we make a trip to Lowe's in Bedford and we decide to swing by the pawn shop. “Hi, we are looking to buy an engagement ring – can you show us what you have?” I'm hoping to see my ring, unreported, sitting there. It's not. I'm feeling defeated.

“Oh, thanks, I don't see anything I like...” and I'm interrupted by a young woman who says, “Oh, you should go to our shop in Altavista! We have lots of rings there!”

Shop in Altavista? You don't say. Go look, don't be afraid! I called when we got back in the car and the owner said, Yes! Come visit! We have lots of jewelry.

Monday, October 16. I call the Bedford County police and tell them I'm going to the pawn shop in Altavista and if I see my ring, I'll call them. I surmise that if law enforcement goes looking, they will be unsuccessful.

I dressed very well, drove to Altavista, but left my wedding/engagement ring at home in my newly combination-locked closet and safe (Husband again, being wonderful), and when I walked in, my heart was pounding.

“Hi, I was in your Bedford shop on Saturday. I'm getting remarried (thou shalt not lie – forgive me, Lord) and my fiance is coming back in town soon, so I'm looking for a ring, something in platinum. I have my grandmother's wedding band, it's platinum. My brother has the engagement ring, so I wanted to see if I could find something to go with it.” (Forgive me, Lord).

A very nice old guy starts to help me, and I look at the rings, but I scan what's available, and they do not have my ring. Then the owner comes over. I said, “I was in your Bedford shop on Saturday – what nice people!”

“Yes, that's my family and you called, right?”

“Yes!” and then he begins his sales pitch: Look at this one! Oh, this one was just reset – look at this! I look. The diamond is about the right size. Did he take my ring apart? No, that's my not my diamond, I know my diamond. Plus, why take a platinum ring with two baguettes apart?

We chat for a while – such a nice guy – and I finally say, “Well, I don't see anything, but thank you. We were looking to spend a substantial amount, so if you do get anything in, maybe I'll leave my name and you can let me know.”

I'm about to leave and he pipes up: “Wait. I have something in the back. I don't usually show it to people, but it's special. It's a 'hearts and arrows' diamond.”

Now, raise your hand if you know what a hearts and arrows diamond is. Have you ever heard of that? I hadn't either, until I had read my appraisal for my ring on September 28 when I was frantically looking for it. My diamond is indeed a "hearts and arrows" cut.

“Okay” and I waited. And I'm dying and nervous and scared. Go look! Okay, I'm praying to keep calm.

Out comes a 1.5 carat, round hearts and arrows diamond engagement ring with two baguettes in platinum. I am staring at my ring. I try to keep cool. “Wow, it's beautiful!”

He begins to extol the virtues of this ring. He pulls out a freaking APPRAISAL that he'd had done and I'm reading all about my ring. It's “excellent polish, excellent cut,” the weight, the flaws, the color – it's my diamond, it's my ring. I'm trying to hard to keep it together, to act interested, but not to give myself away.

“Do you want to try it on?”

“Oh, I'm afraid to – I don't think it's my size.” (Lying again, Lord – it will fit me perfectly, I know). So, he proceeds to size my finger and size the ring – who would have guessed the ring will indeed fit my finger?

“I don't now – my finger is a bit swollen from the heat. What if it gets stuck?”

“You have to try it on!”

So I do. And it fits like Cinderella and her glass slipper because it's my ring on my finger. The ring that he did not catalog when the thief brought it, the ring he knew I was looking for and the house cleaning company was looking for. The ring that his greed would not allow him to reveal to law enforcement. It's on my finger.

“Why don't you take a picture to show your fiance?”

Well, there's an idea – okay!

I take two pictures, I ooh and ahh, and he is so delighted. He will sell this ring to me for $3,000 below appraisal cost. What a sport.

“Would you allow me to just put some money down to hold it so that I can bring my fiance back?”

Why yes he would. I give him $100, my daughter's married name and her phone number, because I had already called to ask if the Bedford shop had my ring and I didn't want him to recognize my name. I take my receipt, I have pictures on my phone and I walk out. I'm trembling.

I called the police from my car and talk to one of the officers I'm working with. I tell him I'm afraid to go back into that shop, because it's a pawn shop with guns and it really took all the courage I had to walk in there and look in the first place. He says hold tight. Then he called me back. There's no officer available and I'm in a different county, but they have called the pawn shop owner and placed a police hold on the ring. He cannot sell it or dispose of it or he will be in even more trouble. They will send an officer when they can, and they will compare the appraisals, the GIA numbers, and let me know.

“How did he respond?” I ask.

He was not happy.

So, two weeks after my visit to the pawn shop, and two months after the theft, I got a call from the deputy who is working the case. Investigations contacted the pawn shop owner who said, why, yes! That ring was in fact given to me by the thief at the same time as he sold the other two. Well, he just “didn't realize” it, too, had been stolen.

He didn't realize that we all called asking about the ring, huh? No, he didn't want to get into more trouble.

The deputy returned my ring to me and we brought it to our jewelers. The GIA numbers were a match. It now resides in my new safe.


(31,577 posts)
6. What an amazing story.
Mon Sep 10, 2018, 11:26 AM
Sep 2018

You were really lucky to get those rings back! Especially the 3rd one!

I lost some family heirloom jewelry when my apartment in Los Angeles was burglarized (during the day when I was at work) in the late 70's. Never got any of it back. Too many pawn shops to check.


(8,428 posts)
7. I live in a rural area, and I know that's the only reason I got them
Mon Sep 10, 2018, 11:47 AM
Sep 2018

all back. It was such an unexpected wonder!

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