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Surveillance Video Leads To Arrest Of Suspected Sawgrass Mills Ring Thief

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South Florida Crime

SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – Surveillance video helped police nab the man they believe made a mad dash with a pricey ring from a jewelry store in the Sawgrass Mills mall.

Last week, 30-year old Maurice Blake walked into CR Jewelers and asked a clerk to see a diamond engagement ring, according to his arrest warrant. He handed the ring back and then asked to see a second ring.

Once the ring was in Blake’s hand, police said he bolted and got away.

The stolen ring, a 2.95 carat diamond in a white gold setting, was valued at $42,270.

A tip to Crime Stoppers helped police identify Blake as the man they were looking for. A check of his Facebook page found a picture of a ring identical to the one stolen from CR Jewelers listed with a price tag of $69,999.

The CR Jewelers clerk positively identified Blake as the man who stole the ring and the ring on his Facebook page as the one that was taken.

Blake was arrested in Miami Gardens on Tuesday evening and booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami.

Investigators say they did not recover the ring.

During a hearing on Wednesday, the judge announced that bond was set at $50,000.

“Your honor, your honor, can I get a lesser bond?   I can’t afford the $50,000,” Blake told the judge.

The judge said her hands were tied.

“I have no jurisdiction over what happens in Broward County,” said the judge.

Blake used to live in a home in Miramar.  His former neighbors were disheartened by the news of his arrest.

“”Well I’m sorry, sorry about it.  He was a very nice guy so I don’t know maybe he ended up broke and stole a ring to make some money,” said Colin Reece.  “That’s wrong, you know, that’s wrong.”

A check of Florida prison records shows that Blake is not a stranger to law enforcement. He’s served several years in prison and been arrested for several charges including grand theft and burglary.

In fact, Broward court records shows that just 8 days prior to the theft at Sawgrass Mills, Blake was arrested for petit theft in Pembroke Pines.

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