Amber LaFountain was so excited her boyfriend had proposed, she did what many others often do when they have news to share, she turned to Facebook.
What she didn't know at the time of her posting was the images of the dazzling ring she was sharing with the Facebook community was that of a stolen piece of jewelry.
After making her posting, several of LaFountain's connections on Facebook recognized the 14-karat white gold solitaire as the one being reported as stolen in the news, and subsequently anonymously called police.
According to the Burlington Free Press, Burlington Police said Ryan Jarvis, 25, admitted to stealing the ring from a Zales Jewelry store on Dec. 26 and then proposed to Lafountain with the stolen ring.
Jarvis had allegedly gone into Zales and asked to see the ring, perused for a long time, and then ran out of the store with the ring in hand, fleeing from the mall where the store was located.
ABC News reported, “The male asked to see a 14K white gold solitaire weighing 1.01 carats. The ring has four prongs cradling the diamond,” according to an affidavit from the Burlington Police Department. “After looking at the ring briefly he ran east out of the store and through a mall exit which enters the garage.”
Zales had priced the ring at $3,199.
Reportedly Jarvis then went and made his proposal to his girlfriend over dinner. Meanwhile, police were at Zales Jewelry taking fingerprints.
After tips came in and identified the ring as looking like the one posted on LaFountain's Facebook page, police arrived to the woman's house. Police say LaFountain "spontaneously asked" if the ring Jarvis proposed with was stolen. According to the affidavit, the investigating officer asked her why she asked; LaFountain said "they did not have a lot of money and that she assumed so since the police were there.”
She then gave police the ring and they matched its serial number with the ring stolen from Zales. Reportedly Jarvis then came outside and admitted to stealing the ring.
“He reported that he considered financing options, but concluded that he would be unable to afford the ring he wanted,” Officer Jesse Stewart wrote in a sworn affidavit. “He reported that he then ran out of the store with the ring. He advised he knew it was a stupid thing to do.”
He was then arrested in connection with the theft. WCAX reported police do not believe that LaFountain had any knowledge of the theft until the time police arrived and police do not plan to file charges against her.
Jarvis appeared in Vermont Superior Court in Burlington on Wednesday and pled not guilty to one felony count of retail theft.