The victims of a £70,000 jewellery theft were “left stunned” when they walked into a jewellery shop and found the owner wearing one of their stolen rings after launching a search to trace their stolen possessions.
Mark McGrorty and Brian Richardson are now facing jail terms after they confessed to selling jewellery taken in a raid on a £2m country house in Fife.
According to The Courier, the jewellery was taken from a safe at the property in July 2014.
Some five months later a jeweller in Edinburgh contacted police because he believed that some jewellery he had recently bought may have been stolen.
It subsequently emerged that Richardson had walked into the Joseph Bonnar Jeweller’s store in Edinburgh’s Thistle Street and sold a pair of Opal earrings, a necklace and two aquamarine earrings for a total of £1,400.
He also provided his own full name and address as he carried out his scheme in full view of the shop’s CCTV.
According to the report, police informed the victims of the theft of the discovery, who decided to visit other jewellers’ shops to see if they could find any more stolen goods.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that they then went to James Ness and Sons in the capital’s Queensferry Street.
She said: “They told staff about the break in and described the items and staff immediately went quiet. The proprietor then entered wearing one of the rings that was missing. He denied having any of the stolen goods but the owners saw a pair of earrings in a cabinet that they believed were theirs. Police were able to obtain the items.”
The report added that in August 27, McGrorty was paid £4,000 via bank transfer for a yellow diamond ring.
The court heard that a “high value” of jewellery taken from the break-in still hasn’t been recovered.
McGrorty, 38, of Kildownie Crescent, Ballingry, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of resetting a quantity of jewellery that had been dishonestly appropriated by theft.
Richardson, 27, of Main Street, Crosshil, Fife, pleaded guilty to resetting jewellery at two jewellery shops in Edinburgh on December 10 and 12 2014.
McGrorty had faced a charge of being responsible for the break in and theft of the items from the house, but instead admitted the charge of resetting the stolen goods.