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New Hampshire man accused of swallowing diamond engagement ring

Published On: Apr 12 2013 06:45:24 AM HST
Ronald Perley
MANCHESTER, N.H. -

Police in Manchester say a man tried to steal a ring from a jewelry store but swallowed it when he discovered he was locked in.

Manchester police said they were called to Bellman's Jewelers on Elm Street on Thursday evening, where three employees were detaining a man suspected of stealing a ring.

The employees said the man, Ronald Perley, 52, of Manchester, had asked to see engagement rings. An employee produced a tray of rings, and after Perley looked at one and gave it back, he picked up another ring and ran toward the door, police said.

But because of security measures at the store, Perley was unable to open the locked door, police said. As staff confronted him, they saw him put his hand to his mouth and swallow, and they believed he swallowed the ring, police said.

The employees told police that Perley denied any wrongdoing and agreed to wait for police. Officers reviewed surveillance video, and police said it appeared to show that Perley had taken a ring.

Police said Perley consented to an initial search, but the $3,200 white gold and diamond ring wasn't found on him and wasn't found in the store.

Police took Perley into custody pending the application of a search warrant. The warrant was granted, and Perley was taken to Elliot Hospital, where an X-ray showed that a ring was inside his body, police said.

Perley was arrested and charged with felony theft and falsifying physical evidence.

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