Gig Harbor wig-wearing jewelry thief arrested, police say

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GIG HARBOR, Wash. — Officers with the Gig Harbor Police Department announced on Thursday that an arrest had been made following a jewelry theft earlier this week.

Police said the man was wearing one of the stolen rings when he was arrested.

Managers at Goldmine Coins and Relics in Gig Harbor told KIRO 7's Gary Horcher on Tuesday they could tell immediately, the thief, posing as a jewelry collector who walked in Tuesday morning, had a bit of an odd look.

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"We believe he was wearing a wig, and he may have even had fake facial hair as well," said David, the president of the family-owned store, which sells everything from high-end jewelry to ancient fossilized shark teeth and rare trading cards.

But the man was also wearing very expensive designer jewelry.

"He knew what he was talking about with jewelry, so he gained my trust a little bit," David said. "So I was willing to show him some of the higher end pieces."

The man gained more trust by trying on and handing back expensive rings and bracelets over the course of 40 minutes.

At one point, the man said he'd buy two diamond-studded rings worth more than $10,000 and quickly revealed why he was in disguise.

"He handed me a debit card and I felt like I should check it," David said.

As David realized the card was likely stolen, the man ran out of the store to a waiting light silver 2015 Kia Sportage with a getaway driver behind the wheel.

David was in hot pursuit on foot, and he chased the car across the parking lot. He said the loss is significant for the small business.

"To be honest, if the jewelry doesn't come back that's OK," he said. "I just want them brought to justice."

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