They say all is fair in love and war but swallowing a stolen engagement ring may not qualify.
A Manchester, N.H., man was arrested Thursday after he attempted to steal a diamond engagement ring by swallowing it at Bellman’s Jewelers, reported WMUR-New Hampshire.
52-year-old Ronald Perley allegedly attempted to flee with a $2,000 white gold and diamond ring but was stopped by employee-controlled safety door looks.
“The gentleman walks in and says, ‘I’m looking for an engagement ring,’ so she brings him over to the showcase and she starts showing him a few rings,” said owner of Bellman’s Jewelers, David Bellman.
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“While she’s doing that he takes one of the rings and says, ‘Thank you very much,’ and then goes to run out the door,” he said.
Perley can be seen on the store’s surveillance footage quickly putting the ring in his mouth, but according to employees, Perley refused to admit to any wrongdoing and waited peacefully for police.
Police were given a search warrant after the stolen ring wasn’t uncovered on store premises, taking the Manchester native to a nearby hospital to complete an X-ray that showed he had indeed injested the ring.
Perley was charged with felony theft and falsifying physical evidence; he was not allowed to be released on bail until the merchandise was produced. According to WMUR, the ring was recovered on Saturday and is currently in evidence pending Perely’s trial.
Despite being the victim of a robbery, Bellman said he is happy to be reunited with his merchandise.
“I’m just relieved that it’s over and that nobody was hurt,” he said.
This isn’t the first engagement ring-swallowing incident. A 30-year-old Kentucky woman, Melissa A. Jones, was arrested in 2011 after swallowing evidence following a jewelry store robbery. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that Jones switched a real $3,300 engagement ring for a fake before trying to flee the store with the item.
“In a lot of high-end jewelry stores, they will do the switch," said general manager of the robbed location, The Castle in Richmond, Nicole Lauhon. “This is the first time it has happened to me,” she said.