Thief flees with $19,000 ring from jeweler

Police are searching for a man who walked into the J Fine Jewelry store Tuesday morning and ran off

Police are searching for a man who walked into the J Fine Jewelry store Tuesday morning and ran off with a $19,000 ring.

According to Fulton County sheriff’s deputies, a white man in his 30s entered the jewelry store at 189 Fifth Ave. at around 11:30 a.m. and asked to see a ring. Store owner Patti Jagielski said she handed the man the ring and he fled the store with the ring in his hand.

“He walked in and said that he had to make something up to his wife and that he thought a diamond would be a nice thing to do,” Jagielski said.

Jagielski said she chased him about a quarter-mile until he entered a wooded area near Boulevard Elementary School. Officials at the school were notified of the situation, according to deputies.

The area was later searched by deputies and K-9 units, but police had yet to locate the suspect as of Tuesday evening.

“When I went out the door, my first intention was to get a license plate number, and he fled across the street,” Jagielski said. “So at that point, you don’t really think about it.”

According to deputies, the man was wearing camouflage green pants, a green shirt, a light-colored baseball hat and sunglasses.

Jagielski said she saw the man throw his hat into a large garbage bin as he fled the store. Deputies later recovered the hat.

“He went behind the building of the mall across the street, and then he went toward the woods,” she said. “At that point, my comfort level stopped. I felt pretty comfortable chasing him out in broad daylight in public.”

Jagielski said she got as close as about 20 feet to the man as he ran but she was slowed because she was wearing high-heeled shoes.

Before chasing him, she pressed an alert button in the store, and she said deputies were arriving just as she returned to the store.

“Thank God it’s never happened before,” Jagielski said. “It changes your opinion of customers, and I don’t want to do that. We’re a very friendly store. You don’t want to have to do that.”

Jagielski said the store has insurance and should be able to recover the wholesale value of the ring. She said she hopes to get back at least as much as she paid for it.

She said she also plans to implement additional security to try to prevent another theft. She declined to describe the new security methods.

Deputies said they have a copy of a surveillance video taken at the jewelry store, though images from the video were not available Tuesday afternoon.

“I really didn’t think about it,” Jagielski said of her decision to chase the thief. “It was just that I was so violated and so angry.”

Deputies asked that anyone with information call 736-2100.

Categories: Schenectady County

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