Northgate Jewellers targeted by man choosing engagement rings.
A thief has been jailed for nine months for stealing £40,000 worth of gemstones from an independent retailer while browsing engagement ring designs.
Raymond Adewale was sentenced this week at Maidstone Crown Court having targeted family-run store Northgate Jewellers in Rochester in the spring of 2012. He was dubbed a "prolific shoplifter" by the courts, having already been jailed for other robberies.
It is understood Adewale entered Northgate Jewellers in April 2012 under the pretence of looking for an engagement ring for his girlfriend. He was shown a number of rings and discussed bespoke options, promising to come back to the store a few days later. He returned on April 20 where he chose a ring and said he would bring in his girlfriend to check the size.
After leaving Northgate Jewellers its owner Vanessa Clayton realised a box of gemstones was missing, and CCTV footage revealed Adewale moving about the shop and concealing the gems in his jacket.
He was identified by police but was not arrested until October 1 when he was in custody for other matters.
Prosecutor Danny Moore said the stones were worth about £40,000 to 55,000, but the judge said he would be sentenced on the basis of the lowest figure.