Woman steals wedding ring while being fingerprinted for employment

Contributed Photo: A Willcox woman who stole a ring from an employee at CMI Quick Copy while being fingerprinted for employment purposes was located at Walmart before heading out of town and the ring was recovered.

Victim locates thief at Walmart

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – An elderly Hispanic woman stole a $1,500 wedding ring from a woman who was fingerprinting her for employment reasons. The suspect was later caught and the ring was returned to the victim.

According to a Safford Police report, the suspect, identified as Marcela Gonzalez, had gotten her fingerprints taken at CMI Quick Copy at 516 W. 5th St. on June 26. During the process, the employee performing the fingerprinting had removed her wedding ring and placed it down next to the fingerprinting station. After the fingerprinting was complete, she was unable to locate her ring.

Video surveillance later showed Gonzalez place her purse down next to the ring and when she picked up her purse she picked up the ring and placed it inside.

Due to Gonzalez having a Willcox address, an officer attempted to locate the vehicle she was traveling in – a black Chevy Impala – around the businesses down Main Street.

The CMI employee also attempted to find the vehicle and located it parked at Walmart and informed the police. While one officer stayed at the vehicle, another entered the store to locate Gonzalez and found her in a checkout line.

When questioned about the ring, Gonzalez – who did not speak English and had to have the officer’s query translated to her by a companion – took the ring out of her purse and gave it to the officer.

The officer informed Gonzalez that taking the ring was a felony and she could be charged with theft, however, he said Gonzalez didn’t seem concerned and didn’t show any sign of remorse for stealing the employee’s wedding ring.

The ring was returned to the employee, who declined to press charges since she got her ring back.