A 47-year-old Florida woman is facing felony charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property after she tried to sell a stolen ring back to the jewelry store from which it was taken during a July burglary, according to the Winter Haven Police Department.
Alice Lavern Henry took the ring, which was from the Simon G. collection, to Griner’s Jewelry, located at 195 Ave. A NW in Winter Haven, around 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 28, and asked a clerk if the store would be interested in buying the ring, WHPD spokesperson Jamie Brown said in a news release.
The clerk asked Henry where she had gotten the ring, and Henry replied that she found it while using a metal detector to hunt for treasure on a beach in the Panhandle, Brown said.
However, when the clerk inspected the ring, it showed none of the damage that would be expected to be found on a ring that had been lost on a beach, such as scratches from grains of sand, etc., police said.
While the clerk was speaking with Henry and examining the ring, another clerk had called the WHPD.
When police arrived, Henry again said she’d found the ring, valued at more than $1,000, while treasure hunting, Brown said.
Henry told authorities she had driven up to Panama City to be with her daughter, who had an emergency situation, and that she had run into a friend from Avon Park during her drive — and the friend happened to have a metal detector in her car.
Henry said she borrowed the metal detector so that she could do some treasure hunting on the beach while visiting her daughter, Brown said.
Henry was allowed to leave the store, but without the ring or any type of payment, according to reports.
While investigating Henry’s claims, police learned that Henry had gone to Mayer’s Jewelry in Lake Wales on multiple dates in September to sell jewelry — three other Simon G. rings that had belonged to Griner’s, and one earring that did not come from the July burglary, Brown said. She also had tried to sell a fourth ring, police said.
A warrant was issued, and Henry was arrested, Brown said.
Detectives from the Winter Haven and Lake Wales police departments interviewed Henry, and she told them she had found the jewelry on the ground when she went out to the dumpsters located in her apartment complex, Brown said.