Stolen Family Jewelry

In December 2012 Lauth Investigations International’s Indianapolis office was retained to locate a stolen wedding band—valued at $35,750.

The Case

The owner of the ring was a local grandmother, who we will refer to as Client X. Client X was the grandmother of three, and the mother of two older children—both of whom were married. One of her grandchildren was a special needs child, and required near-constant care. The financial burden of the care was becoming too much for her son’s family. Meanwhile, the client and her daughter-in-law were estranged for many years.

Client X briefed Lauth Investigation’s Private Investigators on the case, and she was adamant that her daughter-in-law, the one with the special need son, could be responsible for the theft.

Client X insisted that she was responsible, and that her son had no knowledge of his spouse’s thieving behavior.  In the briefing for Client X, she further explained that she was loaning her son money to pay for various things for their special needs son such as education, clothing and other necessities.

She also had purchased the house they lived which alleviated them of any mortgage or rent payment. The client was firm in remembering where she left the ring inside the home and felt comfortable implicating the daughter-in-law—as there was a history of small items disappearing from inside her home.

The Investigation

The client had contacted other local private investigation companies but they were unable to assist. Lauth Investigators requested that Client X file a police report, and to get the detectives name and report number for reference when speaking with vendors.

Lauth Investigations was confident they could utilize local sources in gathering evidence leading to the daughter-in-law and perhaps even locate the ring.

Lauth Investigators began the case by compiling a strong data timeline to track the various auctions and pawn shops. Investigators worked on a critical timeline to locate the ring before it was sold.

Investigators requested photos from Client X of the daughter-in-law, the ring, and any insurance statements or police reports she filed.

Investigators then compiled a geographical list of auctions and pawnshops near the subject’s home in order to interview shop owners and request receipts.

On Day-Two of the investigation, Lauth Investigations uncovered a receipt from a location nearly one-hour from the suspects home. Evidently, the suspect had sold the ring to a small jeweler for over $8,500.00—just two days after the ring was stolen.

After Client X authorized Investigators to proceed confronting her daughter-in-law regarding the theft, investigators took the receipt and written statement from the jeweler and then attempted to obtain a confession from subject. Investigators attempted to confront the woman to discuss but she adamantly denied the theft and refused to talk any further.

The confession attempt interaction then started a thunderstorm of conflict in the family and people began to shut down.

Investigators then scoured other jewelers and auctioneers and found an additional receipt for $4,000 from months before the other theft.

The Results

Lauth Investigators then contacted the original law enforcement detective on the case and reported their findings.

One week later suspect was arrested.

Client X was very happy to have received closure on her wedding ring, and she recommends anyone having a household theft problem to contact a private investigator.

– Thomas Lauth, CEO, Lauth Investigations International