The Hellhole

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

OMG y'all - I have been involved in a jewelry heist!!! There are two floors of jewelry wholesalers in my building and one of them was recommended to us by the building complex owners years ago. I bought a pair of diamond stud earrings and a gorgeous ring from him at differnt times, as well as Alan's totally fantabulous Omega watch - which I bought (a) wholesale; (b) used; and (c) this guy always tells me, "I give you friend price," when I get something from him. My purchases pale in comparison with the numerous pieces of much-higher-priced jewelry we've bought from him for The Boss's wife.

He's also done repairs and upgrades for us, including a couple of Christmases ago when we had The Boss's wife's wedding set remade completely from white gold into platinum. That wasn't cheap, y'know??? He's a very nice guy; he frequently reminds me that if I want anything I see, for example in a magazine, bring him the picture and he'll make it for me but remember, he'll give me friend price. The Boss and I have been doing business with this fellow for five years or so, plus I see him around the building frequently and he's unfailingly kind and pleasant. He's resized my watch bracelet, he has twice repaired my engagement ring and every time refused payment. Not two weeks ago, he replaced a diamond in the ring I'd bought from him and told me, "No! No charge - we are friends."

A little more than a week ago, I gave him The Boss's wife's wedding set for repairs and cleaning. A prong was problematic, among other things. He came by a couple of days later and said he'd drop them by my office on Monday or Tuesday. He didn't show up, but I really thought nothing of it because I often have to chase him down - never had a bad vibe or anything, he just seems busy. He owns his store and often I wind up leaving messages with his underlings that I'm looking for him. Friday, yesterday and today I'd left him voice mails that he hadn't returned which again, that's not unusual. He understands English very well but has a heavy accent, and usually when I call him he will drop by my office when he has a moment instead of calling back; that works better for us.

The Boss was impatient about getting the wedding set back, so yesterday I strolled over to the guy's store. No one was there and the door was locked but again, I thought nothing of it because he is frequently not there and I have to leave a message with an underling that I want to see him. So I figured that, like I do at my office, if the underling left for lunch or to check the mail or go to the bank or similar, he'd locked up. Today it was the same thing so I asked my friend Theresa, who works across the hall from me at FedEx, "Hey, if you happen to see [Jewelry Dude], will you tell him I'm looking for him?" Theresa has lassoed him for me this way in the past.

Today, though, Theresa got this weird look on her face and said, "You don't know?"

No, I didn't.

Seems kind, pleasant Jewelry Dude has looted his safe of his customers' wares and skipped the country!!!! Several of the jewelers in the building had stuff placed with him for repair, resizing and whatnot, and have lost all that stuff. One of those was the (also very nice and sweet to me) guy from whom we bought my wedding set. Another building pal of mine, a watch repairer, had just given Jewelry Dude a Cartier watch for polishing. Gone. And then there's the NOT SO SMALL matter of Mrs. Boss's wedding set.

I spoke to building security who referred me to an investigator with the Atlanta police department, for whom I've left a message and then I'll have to be interviewed by an insurance adjuster about the whole matter (can I just say that Mrs. Boss's wedding set WAS. NOT. CHEAP.).

Here's an anectote: once before, right after I'd bought it, I lost a diamond out of that particular ring and when I brought it over to ask if he'd fix it, I started tearing up. It wasn't really the ring, it was just a lot of things piling up on me, stress and emotion and all, and now my lovely ring was messed up which was just the proverbial last straw, y'know? So I got all weepy when I brought it to him for repair, he did that deer-in-the-headlights thing guys do when a chick starts crying and he was trying to comfort me, saying, "Don't worry, I fix, I fix, no cry!" when his main underling said something foreign to him. Suddenly his head snapped around and he demanded, "Your husband! He is mean to you?" This totally puzzled me (what did Alan have to do with this?) and he elaborated, "He is mean? He yell at you? Ang-er-y about your ring?!?" as he exchanged glances with the underling, all of which was said in a tone that implied if Alan was being hateful to me, they would sort him out BUT GOOD. I reassured them that Alan never yells at me, I was just upset that my ring was messed up. Which sounds kinda lame, writing about it, but he was being SO SWEET and protective in a big-brother sort of way, that I just can't quite come to terms with the fact that he's a thief. And he's stolen from US.

The Boss was pretty calm and deadpan about it all, saying, "Desperate people do desperate things," but I cannot get over that he did this - generally I'm pretty cynical and tend to think the worst of people, but he was SO NICE! And we'd done business with him successfully for so many years, and he was always the sweetest to me! I'm stunned. I can't seem to wrap my mind around this. I mean, dude selling GENUWINE Rollax watches on the streetcorner is one thing, and it's another to think we were dealing with a legitimate businessman, but more than that, I actually believed Jewelry Dude when he said that we were friends.



  • Sorry to hear about this, Helly.

    By Blogger basil, at 4:35 AM  

  • I'm sorry to hear about this as well. Sometimes you just never know with people.

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 9:18 AM  

  • Unbelievable.

    I hope they're able to catch up with him and get everything back.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:20 PM  

  • What a shock!! I kept reloading your blog last night waiting for the story, but I couldn't keep my eyes open - that big glass of wine, maybe, being the culprit - so that's why I'm only just now reading it when I'm supposed to be working. I can feel your total shock and dismay that someone so kind would turn out to be a thief. How sad. And now you don't have the "friend price" hookup anymore, either. :-(

    By Blogger Nancy, at 1:51 PM  

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