Theft victims receive new engagement ring, wedding bands from Reeds Jewelers

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - When Matt Dawson and Rebecca Pirone walked into Reeds Jewelers Friday afternoon, it wasn't to do some holiday shopping. It was to replace what was stolen from them.

WECT was first introduced to the couple when they won the Reeds' Diamond Dash.

The grand prize: an $11,000 diamond engagement ring, plus his and hers wedding bands.

But before Dawson could pop the question, the rings were stolen.

Friday, Reeds replaced those rings.

"You lose faith when somebody steals your stuff," said Dawson to store employees. "Reeds has restored our faith."

Their faith is also restored because police arrested the man who they say staged a fake break-in at the couple's home.

Michael Passmore has been charged with the crime, but there's a twist – Dawson says the suspect is dating their roommate.

"We felt really betrayed," Dawson said. "You just don't expect it to be someone you actually know."

Detectives with the Wilmington Police Department said Passmore stole the couple's rings; then, a few weeks later, stole even more jewelry.

The rings ended up in pawn shops in Wilmington and Myrtle Beach.

Police said Passmore had to fill out paperwork to pawn the items, and that's how they tracked him down.

"You lose your sense of security when things like this happen," said Pirone. "So, having a face and a name and a person that's charged with these crimes gives you that sense of security back. Reeds offered to replace the rings before the case had been closed. Now, to have the rings back and to have caught the person who did this it's just really sort of nice. You feel secure again. You feel happy."

Now, with the new rings, the couple is closer to tying the knot.

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