A 31-year-old Frederick man, accused of trying to switch a cheap costume ring for a $2,500 diamond ring at a Westminster jewelry store Wednesday, was captured by city police after a short foot chase.
The name of the man, who was detained but had not been charged by late yesterday, was not immediately available.
Police said a man went into David's Jewelers, in the first block of E. Main St., and asked to look at a tray of diamond rings. When the tray was placed on the counter, the man looked at several rings, put a costume ring in the slot where a diamond ring had been and started out of the store. Police were called.
Officer Howard Friedman, on foot patrol on Main Street, heard the call as he approached the jewelry store. An employee pointed to a man walking toward Railroad Avenue and said, "He has the ring in his pocket."
The officer caught up with the man and started to question him. The suspect moved to run away and Officer Friedman grabbed his shirt to detain him.
The shirt ripped off and the man ran, with Officer Friedman -- shirt in hand -- in pursuit, police said. The officer called for backup on his radio.
As the man ran around the corner to a parking lot on Railroad Avenue, a witness saw him throw something toward an office building and told police. The ring, still carrying the $2,500 price tag, was found on pavement behind a trash container.
The Frederick man was arrested and taken to the Westminster station for questioning.
Police reported that someone stole jewelry, valued at $600, from the store Saturday.