The Ring Cycle on 88th Street: Lost-and-Found Bauble Drama

What would you do if you found a ring on the street, an obviously expensive ring? After looking around to make sure you weren’t on Candid Camera or America’s Funniest Home Videos, would you give it to your significant other, claiming to have dropped by Cartier or Harry Winston on the way home, as out of character as that might be? Would you get it resized for your own finger? Or would you turn it over to the cops, as one Good Samaritan did on May 5?

The woman, who found the ring on 88th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues, actually contacted Sotheby’s first, who put her in touch with the 19th Precinct. “We have a few burglaries where rings are missing,” explained Inspector James Rogers, the precinct’s commanding officer. “Now and then we get a report of somebody who was at a nail salon and she lost her ring.”

Inspector Rogers mentioned the ring to Lisa Moran, a detective with the 19th Precinct squad, who managed to find a lost-property report that had been filed the previous day, May 4, for that very ring, which had been reported missing from the same location it was later found. Easier than finding a needle in a haystack, you might say-though not quite, given the not entirely scientific nature of the NYPD’s station-house filing procedures.

The ring’s rightful owner, who lives on 88th Street between Fifth and Madison and asked not to be identified (she doesn’t believe her friends need to know the value of her jewelry), said that she was stunned when she received a call from Detective Moran regarding the ring. Indeed, the only reason she’d filed a police report in the first place was because her insurance company told her to, not because she had any expectations of getting the bauble back.

“I think the detective didn’t think I wanted the ring back, because I wasn’t excited,” she said, adding: “I was in disbelief.”

She described the diamond engagement ring as three carats and valued at $43,000. “We were already picking out a replacement,” she added. “Everybody tells me God is on my side.”

The woman said that she’d since been in contact with the Good Samaritan, a West End Avenue resident. “I’m putting a gift together for the person who found it,” she said. “She said people had found things for her, and I wanted to do the same.’”

Star Wars Mania

How much were tickets to the New York City premiere of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith worth? What about $1,000 a pop? That’s what one individual paid for two stolen passes to the May 12 premiere, benefiting the Children’s Health Fund, at the Ziegfeld Theatre. A portion of the theater was reserved as seating for children who participate in the charity’s programs.

The theft was discovered when the purchaser e-mailed the organization, at 317 East 64th Street, to verify that the tickets were authentic. A charity official confronted the seller, apparently an employee of the fund, who had a bank check in her possession from the buyer for the amount of the tickets. She also had four other tickets to the premiere, as well as Star Wars “backstage passes.” (A Star Wars –themed after-party was held following the premiere.) The remaining tickets and backstage passes were valued at $7,500.

The suspect, 26 years old, was changed with grand larceny.

Free Health Coverage

Identity theft has become so ubiquitous, it’s little surprise that thieves would use the ploy not only to buy things like pricey electronics and home appliances but also to pay their hospital bills, as one perp did at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, 525 East 68th Street, on May 3.

The victim of the identity theft, a 59-year-old Long Island City woman, contacted the police after she received a bill from the Upper East Side hospital stating that she owed them $1,705.35. There was one problem: She’d never received any treatment at New York–Presbyterian, distinguished though that institution may be.

The individual who took advantage of the hospital’s medical expertise and technology remains unknown. However, she used the victim’s name, address, Social Security number and date of birth to receive an unspecified test from the hospital.

Cut Glass Cut Loose

Being that antiques are a gentleman’s (or a gentlewoman’s) profession, and that spirited bargaining is part of its charm, it’s perfectly understandable that dealers may sometimes let their guard down, especially with by-appointment clients, as one dealer apparently did to his regret on April 29.

The victim, an East 79th Street dealer who specializes in the work of the great French glassmaker René Lalique, told the police that he’d prepared one of the master’s statues for a client, who was supposed to pick it up later that day. However, while the object was on display, a second client came to visit.

After that client left, the dealer discovered the artwork missing. The statue was described as a cut-glass head of a falcon, executed by Lalique in 1929. It was valued at $6,800.

Rather than look through mug shots at the station house, which would undoubtedly prove fruitless, the victim told the police that he’d “contact mutual business acquaintances to obtain more information” on the perpetrator-something he probably wishes he’d done beforehand.