Montgomery jeweler arrested after allegedly pawning customer's jewelry

Montgomery jeweler arrested after allegedly pawning customer's jewelry
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Imagine taking your wedding ring to be cleaned only to find out it weeks later it had been sold for cash.

For customers of Ray Boone Jewelers, that nightmare is their reality.

Police arrested owner Charles Rodney Wilkerson earlier this week on charges of first degree theft of property.

Wilkerson allegedly took pieces of jewelry to be cleaned or repaired, but would then turn them over to pawn shops for short term loans to pay off his own debts.

Now, Ray Boone Jewelers' Facebook page is filled with angry comments from other customers saying he owes them too.

Rachel Bryant once considered Wilkerson a good friend and businessman.

"In the beginning, it was pretty straight forward; normal business practices," Bryant said. "And then about a year ago is when this whole situation had happened where he completely stopped talking to me and quit answering my phone calls and text messages."

Bryant had Wilkerson sell her old jewelry, but when she went to get paid she says Wilkerson was low on cash and full of excuses.

"I go to pick it up and he only has half of the payment of what he agreed he was going to sell it for, and he tells me that he'll get the rest of it to me," said Bryant. "So I decided that I was just going to have to file a claim with the court in order to get my money."

But for those trying to get their jewelry back on Friday, they were met with an empty store and a sign encouraging those with questions to contact the police.

"I thought when he reconciled our situation that he was getting everything back in line," said Bryant." You know, everybody has their hard times, but I am surprised to hear that he's done this to other people. I thought it had gotten better, but it obviously has not."

The Montgomery Police Department says this is an ongoing investigation. If you may have been a victim of theft, the company encourages you to call MPD for more information.

To avoid becoming a victim, authorities encourage you to take pictures of your jewelry before leaving it at any business.

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.