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Vermont Man Arrested After Proposing with Stolen Engagement Ring

Burlington Police Department(BURLINGTON, Vt.) -- Happily ever after got off to a rough start when a woman’s acceptance of her boyfriend’s marriage proposal landed him in jail. It turned out that Amber LaFountain’s new fiance, Ryan Jarvis, had stolen the engagement ring from a jewelry store.

LaFountain posted engagement photos on Facebook, and anonymous tips to the police following a news release about the robbery led to Jarvis.

Jarvis was ring shopping at a Burlington, Vt., Zales jewelry store on Dec. 26. Store employees told police he was perusing the ring selection for over an hour, at one point asking to compare the rings, which a clerk did not allow him to do.

“The male asked to see a 14K white gold solitaire weighing 1.01 carats. The ring has four prongs cradling the diamond,” according to an affidavit from the Burlington Police Department. “After looking at the ring briefly he ran east out of the store and through a mall exit which enters the garage.”

Jarvis managed to escape the mall with the $3,199 ring.

As police dusted the jewelry cases looking for finger prints and began their investigation, Jarvis took LaFountain out for dinner and popped the question. She accepted and posted a photo of the ring on her Facebook page.

Police released information about the stolen ring and multiple anonymous callers reported information to the police, including three of LaFountain’s own friends who all identified Jarvis as her fiance.

When police arrived at LaFountain’s home, they found her outside. She confirmed that she had gotten engaged the previous evening and had the ring with her. She said it didn’t fit, and she and Jarvis had taken it to have a ring sizer attached.

“While speaking with LaFountain she spontaneously asked if Jarvis had stolen the ring,” Burlington Police Officer Jesse Stewart wrote in the affidavit. “I asked her why she thought that and she reported that they did not have a lot of money and that she assumed so since the police were there.”

LaFountain handed over the ring and it matched the photo and serial number provided by the jewelry store. Jarvis came outside and admitted to the theft.

“He advised he selected a ring but knew that he could not afford it,” Stewart wrote. “He reported that he considered financing options but concluded that he would be unable to afford the ring he wanted. He reported he then ran out of the store with the ring. He advised he knew it was a stupid thing to do.”

Jarvis was arrested and charged with retail theft.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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