Woman arrested, accused of shoplifting

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A 44-year-old woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing more than $500 in jewelry from a downtown store.

Wanda Jean Laford, 44, of Craig, was charged with felony theft after the owner of Artisans Market reported that the woman stole a display of rings worth $503 and later returned the display and most of the rings, Steamboat Springs Police Capt. Joel Rae said.

On Feb. 7, the owner of the store at 626 Lincoln Ave. noticed that a glass hand used to display rings and the 13 rings on it, each worth about $40 to $50, was missing from its spot next to the cash register. The evening before, the shop owner said Laford had been in the store. The owner suspected Laford because she had noticed items missing from the store after the woman had visited on previous occasions, Rae said. Laford had purchased one small item the night the display disappeared.

The shop owner's suspicions apparently were confirmed Monday, when Laford returned to the store with the glass hand display and a decorative eyeglass chord. The display still had 11 of the 13 rings on it.

On Tuesday, police detectives interviewed Laford, who said she didn't know why she took the items, Rae said.

In 2003, Rae said, the police gave Laford a summons for shoplifting jewelry from the Steamboat Art Company.

Laford bonded out of the Routt County Jail on Thursday.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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