The victims of a £70,000 jewel theft began their own hunt to find their missing treasures - and were left stunned when they walked into a jeweller’s shop and found the owner wearing one of their stolen rings.
Mark McGrorty and Brian Richardson are facing jail terms after they admitted selling jewellery taken in a raid on a £2 million country house in Fife. Jewellery was taken from a safe at Lochiehead House, Aucthermuchty, Fife, at some point between 25 -28 July, 2014.
That December a jeweller in Edinburgh contacted police because he believed some jewellery he had recently bought may have been stolen.
It then emerged that Richardson had walked into the Joseph Bonnar Jeweller’s store in Edinburgh’s Thistle Street and sold a pair of Opal earrings, a necklace and two aquamarine earrings for a total of £1,400.
He did so in full view of CCTV - and even provided his own full name and address to the shop’s proprietor as he carried out his scheme. The victims of the theft were informed of the discovery by police - and decided to visit other jewellers’ shops to see if they could find any more stolen goods.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court that they then went to another capital jeweller.
She said: “They told staff about the break in and described the items and staff immediately went quiet. The proprietor then entered wearing one of the rings that was missing.
“He denied having any of the stolen goods but the owners saw a pair of earrings in a cabinet that they believed were theirs.
“Police were able to obtain the items.
“On 27 August, 2014, accused McGrorty had attended and was paid £4,000 via bank transfer for a yellow diamond ring.”
McGrorty, 38, of Ballingry, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of resetting a quantity of jewellery that had been dishonestly appropriated by theft.
Richardson, 27, of Crosshil, Fife, pleaded guilty to resetting jewellery at two jewellery shops in Edinburgh on 10 and 12 December 2014.
Sheriff Alistair Carmichael deferred sentence until next month for reports and released the pair on bail.