HomeTop StoriesBunnell housekeeper accused of stealing and pawning dead woman's $20,000 ring

Bunnell housekeeper accused of stealing and pawning dead woman’s $20,000 ring

Ruth Ann Robertson

A Bunnell housekeeper accused of stealing a $20,000 ring from her late boss and then pawning it was arrested this week, police said.

Ruth Ann Robertson, 57, of Bunnell, was arrested Monday and charged with trafficking in stolen property. Robertson was booked into the Flagler County Jail and released Monday after posting $25,000 bond.

The case began when a man contacted Bunnell police on Feb. 14 to say his late wife’s ring, which he said was worth $40,000, was missing and possibly stolen, police said. An appraiser later estimated the ring’s value at $20,000.

The man had found his wife of 53 years unconscious on the morning of October 28 and called for help. Bunnell police officers and Flagler County Fire Department medics were unable to revive her.

Some time later, the man realized that his wife’s ring was missing. The man and family members searched the home but were unable to find it and the man contacted Bunnell Police Chief David Brannon.

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Bunnell Police Detective Sgt. Shane Groth reviewed video footage from the cameras worn by the two responding police officers, which showed no indication that the ring or officers had contact with it.

The man allowed Groth and Bunnell Detective Jeff Traylor to search his home to help locate the ring.

Detectives later learned from the man that he and his wife had a housekeeper at the time of his wife’s death.

The man knew the housekeeper as Ruth Ann Brown, but detectives later discovered her real name was Ruth Ann Robertson.

Detectives checked pawn shop transaction records under both names and revealed Robertson had an extensive history of pawn transactions at Cash-It-In Pawn in Bunnell, police said.

Detectives checked the pawn shop and discovered that Robertson had pawned a similar ring on November 20.

Detectives then contacted Robertson, who said she had been the couple’s housekeeper for about nine years and had developed a close bond with the deceased woman.

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Roberston said she cleaned the house three or four days after the woman’s death.

Robertson told investigators she had not taken the ring but was familiar with it.

Detectives then confronted Robertson about her pawn shop’s transaction history.

Robertson again denied taking the ring, but claimed she had pawned other rings.

Robertson was then confronted with the Nov. 20 pawn shop record. Robertson initially said she couldn’t remember which ring she had pawned, police said.

But Robertson eventually admitted that she stole the ring from the deceased woman’s home because she was having financial problems, police said.

Robertson also said she wanted something to remember the woman by, police said.

Robertson admitted to investigators that she arranged for a friend from Bradenton to come to Bunnell and pay off her $300 pawn note on the stolen ring and another ring she had pawned, police said.

After paying off the pawned rings, the friend agreed to pay Robertson another $900 for the stolen ring, police said.

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Detectives contacted the girlfriend at the Bradenton home and she agreed to cooperate and turned the ring over to Bradenton police. The ring was then returned to the deceased woman’s husband.

This article originally appeared in The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Florida housekeeper accused of stealing dead woman’s $20,000 ring

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