Man takes deep gulp in Arundel police cruiser stolen rings disappear

November 14, 1990|By Roger Twigg

OK, riddle fans, solve this one:

You watch a guy gulp down two stolen diamond rings worth $26,000. You take him to the hospital and get a bunch of X-rays taken. But the X-rays show no sign of any jewelry in his digestive system. So where are the rings?

If you have any ideas, call the Anne Arundel County police. They've been trying to find the rings since Monday afternoon.

"They are nowhere to be had," lamented police spokesman V. Richard Molloy, but "he definitely swallowed them."

It all began Monday afternoon when a man walked into Zale's Jewelers at the Annapolis Mall and asked to see two diamond engagement rings, Mr. Molloy said. After the rings were placed on the counter, the man snatched them up and fled.

An off-duty county police officer, Brian David Riddle, joined the chase and managed to tackle the thief on the parking lot.

Officer Riddle said the man stuck the rings in his mouth and refused to surrender them.

After he was placed in a patrol car, Officer Riddle and Officer John R. Bull Jr. said they saw what appeared to be a diamond ring in the man's mouth as he made some garbled sounds. Then the man took a large gulp and appeared to swallow the rings.

The officers searched the patrol car to make sure the jewelry had not been hidden there.

Then they got a court order to have the man searched and X-rayed at Anne Arundel General Hospital. To their dismay, the X-rays failed to turn up the rings. But that didn't help the 23-year-old West Baltimore man accused of stealing the jewelry.

Benny Darrell King of the 4500 block of Garden Drive was charged with grand theft and assault and taken to the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, where he was being held last night in lieu of $2,500 bond.

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