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Facebook Photo of Stolen Ring Puts Couple In Jail 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-picture-is-worth-1,000-days dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Facebook photo of a stolen 3 carat diamond ring recently helped police solve a jewelry theft. After rings and other items valued at more than $16,000 were taken from a home on Saturday, a friend of the victim's roommate saw one of the items on the social network. 20-year-old Crystal Yamnitzky captioned the photo with the following message: 'Look what Robby gave me I love him so much,' in reference to her 21-year-old boyfriend Robert Driscoll. Yamnitzky's cousin saw the post and told some friends, who alerted police. Both Yamnitzky and Driscoll have been charged in the case."
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Facebook Photo of Stolen Ring Puts Couple In Jail

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  • Fitting name... (Score:5, Informative)

    by mekkab (133181) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:49PM (#35474880) Homepage Journal

    "Robby", it's more than just his hobby! /I love how they charged the girlfriend (even though she's not just innocent but also oblivious) just so she'll roll on her fiance. //For the record, I'd totally spill my guts, too.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're both junkies. He "gave" her the ring then immediately pawned it (you'll note the references to the pawn shop where the ring was found).

      The receiving stolen goods charge is bogus though, why isn't the pawn shop being charged if it's a valid charge.

      • by gd2shoe (747932)

        The receiving stolen goods charge is bogus though, why isn't the pawn shop being charged if it's a valid charge.

        It is not a bogus charge. At least in California, the prosecutor must establish that the defendant knew it was stolen. It's often used in theft cases when they can't prove who stole an item, but they have a pretty good idea.

    • I love how they charged the girlfriend (even though she's not just innocent but also oblivious)

      Why do you think that the girlfriend knew nothing about this. According to the guy's grandmother she was hounding her boyfriend for a ring knowing that he couldn't pay for one. The grandmother said of her, "All the time, 'I want a ring. I want a ring. I want a ring'". She had been at the house where the robbery took place. I could just imagine that she saw the ring, liked it and pointed it out to the boyfriend and said that she wanted THAT ring.

      Dare I say that she might have been the ringleader of the gang?

      • by rta (559125)

        Don't forget though that this is what HIS grandmother is saying about HER. It may be true, but on the other hand in-law conflicts, especially mother-in-law daughter-in-law conflicts can be quite strained. (yes, it's a stereotype... but it's also often true)

        • It is true that we only have a small amount of information about this, and that we can't trust all of it. However, the police have more information than we do, so my point is that we cannot second guess whether charges should have been laid against the girlfriend. The assumptions by the original poster that the girlfriend was innocent and only charged as leverage against the boyfrield is unsustainable.

          • by socsoc (1116769)

            we cannot second guess whether charges should have been laid against the girlfriend.

            But, this is the Internet...

            /I laid against the girlfriend

      • 'I want a ring. I want a ring. I want a ring' Gawd, that guy is lucky he's going to jail. Any woman who hounds like that isn't worth it. For what it's worth, I will /never/ buy someone a ring. It's simply not needed.
        • I would buy a nice girl a ring. However, if she keeps nagging for such things she is not a nice girl. This seems to be a girl that has been spoiled as a kid (nagging is a clear indicator of lazy parenting) and as such not worth my time nor my money. Buying a girl a ring may be useful as a relationship improvement, buying a gild a ring to ask her to marry you is simply required.
        • by tehcyder (746570)

          'I want a ring. I want a ring. I want a ring' Gawd, that guy is lucky he's going to jail. Any woman who hounds like that isn't worth it. For what it's worth, I will /never/ buy someone a ring. It's simply not needed.

          Well, nor are christmas presents, birthday cards, flowers when someone's sick, throwing a stick for a puppy, feeding bread to ducks with your kids. amd all sorts of simple things that make people happy.

    • Could it be this one [facebook.com]?

      Lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania It's complicated From Monroeville, Pennsylvania

      Crystal Yamnitzky
      Today haa been a fucked up day period
      March 6 at 4:44pm via Android

      Robert Driscoll is among the Friends.

      Also, she probably created this account [facebook.com] - the 3 friends currently in it are common with the above account. My guess is the police have gotten her barred from accessing the first account.

    • She is alleged to have held stolen property. That is a crime in most places if you know it is stolen.

    • It's sad i see people get expensive things and go "omg I love him so much." If you keep throwing money at a girl she keeps loving you. What the fuck is that? You can buy women? Fuck that's worthless.
    • Robby, no robbing!

  • by bgfay (5362) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @05:55PM (#35474896) Homepage

    Nothing in the world says "I love you" quite so much as stolen merchandise. I'm so head over heels for my wife that I'm about to go out and knock over a convenience store.

  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff&gmail,com> on Sunday March 13, 2011 @06:05PM (#35474934) Homepage Journal

    for solving crimes. Ask any cop.

    • It's quite possible, and even likely that he wasn't the thief. Say someone traded the rings for drugs or a car stereo? The police don't have an unbroken chain from the victims house to the thieves hands, so unless he confesses they are going to have a pretty hard time convicting him.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by BitterOak (537666)

        It's quite possible, and even likely that he wasn't the thief. Say someone traded the rings for drugs or a car stereo? The police don't have an unbroken chain from the victims house to the thieves hands, so unless he confesses they are going to have a pretty hard time convicting him.

        If he isn't the thief, he'll certainly have to explain where he got the ring. The police could follow the trail back to find the thief in that case. Otherwise, if he is the thief he'll have a hard time explaining where he got it.

      • by rgviza (1303161)

        Possession is 9/10ths of the law. It's not just a saying. If he didn't steal it himself, he's guilty of receiving stolen property. If he won't roll on the person that gave it to him, he must be the one that stole it. How else would it magically land in his lap? Either way, _someone_ will go to jail for the theft of the ring. In a case like you hypothesize, that someone will be the person in possession of the ring, absent any other suspects. It's hard to argue that someone in possession of a stolen ring didn

    • What if you also have a stupid cop? At what millidonut threshold on average does the stupidity of the criminal get outweighed by the stupidity of the cop?
      • by easyTree (1042254)

        Cops have a high tolerance to donuts so millidonuts are too granular. You'll be wanting a megadonut scale.

      • by mallyn (136041)
        Thank you for reminding me;

        I need to get that motion activated security camera for my jewelry [allyn.com] so that when people like this steal it, the police can make a solid identification.

    • by mikael (484)

      As one detective once said, "Every dumb criminal is a failure of the education system."

      Like the kind who go house-burglaring during a snowstorm thinking that the bilzzard of snowflakes will camouflage them against the surroundings. Then the detectives just follow the footprints in the snow from the crime scene back to their home.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Assuming the article is accurate, the bride-to-be really had no reason to suspect the ring was stolen.

    Now she's permanently tainted with a criminal record for being a victim.

    Way to go, justice system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)

      I bet she knows all about how "Robby" gets his hands on stuff like this, and appreciates the flow of stolen goods.

      • I'm hoping that our criminal justice system has a little more to go on than your wager, and that they wouldn't charge her otherwise. I'll reserve judgment since I haven't seen any evidence.
    • I think receiving stolen property is a crime just so fences can't hide behind saying they unknowingly purchased stolen goods. It also probably has some relevance to money laundering in organised crime. Usually those who legitimately didn't know are just let off.

      • by gd2shoe (747932)
        I don't know about other jurisdictions, but in California it is only illegal to possess something if you have reason to believe it was stolen. "those who legitimately didn't know" aren't "just let off". They simply aren't guilty (according to the letter of the law).
        • by socsoc (1116769)
          She definitely had reason to believe it was stolen by her dear Robby McStealerson.
    • by SharpFang (651121) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @06:46PM (#35475166) Homepage Journal

      Knowingly receiving stolen property is a serious crime. Receiving it in good faith, without knowledge or suspicion it was stolen is not. It's up to the court to determine which is the case. (you still have to give the property back, and if you paid for it while buying it in good faith you may join the suit against the thief to have your money back)

      If she had a good reason to suspect the ring was stolen, she's guilty. But if the boyfriend successfully deceived her into believing this was all legit she'll walk away free.
      (yes, she can lie her way out of this one even if she's guilty, if she's clever enough. OTOH she doesn't sound very clever.)

      • by causality (777677)

        OTOH she doesn't sound very clever.

        That much can be derived from her taste in mates alone.

        Generally, water seeks its own level.

      • by Alsee (515537)

        yes, she can lie her way out of this one even if she's guilty, if she's clever enough. OTOH she doesn't sound very clever.

        She doesn't need to be clever. That's what what expensive lawyers are for.

        Oh wait, she's broke.

        -

    • by sjames (1099)

      Concern for guilt or innocence is out of fashion in the DA's office these days. They prefer to just railroad anyone they can for anything they can.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        It's more obvious now than it was in the past, but I doubt it's more prevalent. It's the nature of being the prosecutor. If you didn't believe the defendant to be guilty you probably wouldn't have brought charges.

        • by sjames (1099) on Monday March 14, 2011 @01:07AM (#35476890) Homepage

          Actually, what I mean is that it appears that DAs are increasingly willing to bring charges even when it should be obvious the defendant is not guilty, add charges that are clearly inappropriate and insist on the defendant's guilt even when actually proven innocent through forensics. The latter to the point that they have been known to fight the release of a prisoner AFTER they have been unequivocally exonerated.

          I suppose all of that could be genuine belief in guilt, but only if the belief has crossed into mental illness, kinda like those guys who genuinely believe the aliens are talking to them in their heads.

          It could be that it has always been like that and it just comes to light more often, but that hardly improves matters.

    • by Giometrix (932993)
      I'm pretty sure she'd have to be found guilty before having a permanent record. However, her name and this article will forever come up in Google searches.
    • by ebuck (585470)

      Being charged with a crime isn't being permanently tainted. It's being convicted of a crime that does that.

      • by Cinder6 (894572)

        Depends on the crime. Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson were both found not guilty.

        • Apples and Moon Rocks. MJ and OJ were celebrities, and with that comes the added spotlight and public discourse. For the common accused criminal, we speak of them in general, and make boogeymen out of stereotypes, but the accused directly sees little ill impact (except from the prospective employer who sees the accusation and goes...ehhhhhh....without caring to know the facts). Celebrities, though, we get snippets of court transcripts that are trimmed and tailored for maximum impact, and whatever the pre
      • by Hatta (162192)

        That's what they taught us in school, yes. But these days you don't even have to be charged with a crime to be detained indefinitely [washingtonpost.com].

      • Any background search is going to come up with this incident, she could very well be excluded from getting a job because of this. So although she more then likely won't be convicted of anything she will have this associated with her forever. That seems about right for "not knowing" where her broke boyfriend got a $12,000 ring from.
    • by MPolo (129811)
      Well, if she ends up not being found innocent, then she doesn't have a criminal record. If the police have to be "beyond a shadow of a doubt" before they can arrest somebody, the justice system might as well not exist. And a reasonable suspicion exists here -- the woman just received a hugely expensive ring from a man who wasn't exactly rich. It is reasonable for the police to think that she might have known that the ring was stolen.
  • Michael Rowland: 'Gonna rob the local servo on Mitchel ave. 12am today..'
    Constable Steven Briggs likes this

    I thought that philmarcracken's comment [slashdot.org] was funny.
    I have now realized that reality is even funnier, and far more strange.

  • Oh handcuffs, you shouldn't have!

    No really, you shouldn't have.
  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Sunday March 13, 2011 @06:17PM (#35475006) Homepage

    So, at least according to the police and article author:

    1. Dumb woman insists on getting an expensive engagement ring from her boyfriend despite both being broke.
    2. Dumb boyfriend steals a ring from dumb woman's cousin's friend's roommate while visiting with dumb woman and her cousin.
    3. Dumb boyfriend gives stolen ring to the dumb woman.
    4. Dumb woman posts a photo of the ring to facebook.
    5. Dumb woman's cousin recognizes the ring.
    6. Dumb woman's cousin tells his friends and they call the police.

    While (1) to (4) are already incredibly stupid, and (2) is beyond my understanding of stupidity (that is, I can not see the logic, faulty or not, behind making such decision), I have to point out that the person who recognized the ring was dumb woman's cousin AND victim's roommate's friend. Even if dumb woman did not post the photo in (4), he would see her wearing the ring, so (5) and (6) would inevitably follow.

    So considering how little importance Facebook has in those events, I have to bring a more important (at least for this site) matter -- SOME PEOPLE ARE EXTREMELY STUPID. Stupid to the extent that they choose the worst course of actions available to them in a situation when absolutely nothing compels them to do anything at all. And people like that use technology.

    • Don't forget that he sold six stolen items for only $250.. I mean, selling stolen goods is risky and can earn you a not-so-nice accommodation for a year or more, so why even bother for such a small amount of money?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2011 @08:35PM (#35475778)

        >why even bother for such a small amount of money?

        Junkies live in the moment. Often they expect to die very soon and they are bargaining for the moment. This is hard to understand if you haven't walked in their shoes. I'm not trying to justify it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Don't forget that he sold six stolen items for only $250.. I mean, selling stolen goods is risky and can earn you a not-so-nice accommodation for a year or more, so why even bother for such a small amount of money?

        Because that's all the thief can get - it's not like he has any leverage.

        Thief: Hey, I got this great laptop worth $2000.
        Fence: Meh. I'll give you $50.
        Thief: Hey, it's worth $3000. I want at least $1000
        Fence: I'll give you $50, or I'll call the cops and tell them you tried to sell it to me.
        Thief: (Grumbles as he hands over laptop and takes his $50)

        • by socsoc (1116769)
          This is true, a few weeks ago a man offered me a blu-ray player for $10. We were walking through a neighborhood at night, I told him I bet the owners would like it back. He laughed and ran off, they'll take whatever they can get.
    • by PPH (736903)

      And people like that use technology.

      Even worse, they breed.

  • Hey, that ring on Slashdot looks familiar...
  • by e9th (652576) <e9th@NOSpaM.tupodex.com> on Sunday March 13, 2011 @06:24PM (#35475042)

    They later learned that Driscoll had sold six of the stolen items at Gold Buyers of Pittsburgh for $250.

    This is what is so maddening about these crimes. I do not know what the six stolen items were, but I'll bet that some of them had sentimental value to the owners far beyond the intrinsic value of the gold itself, and now they are likely gone forever.

    • I do not know what the six stolen items were, but I'll bet that some of them had sentimental value to the owners far beyond the intrinsic value of the gold itself, and now they are likely gone forever.

      For this reason I stopped caring about expensive stuff. It's just bits of metal and stuff. Well fuck that. Thank god the girlfriend doesn't give a rat's ass about gold and diamonds either.

  • This took place less than 5 miles from where I live. The neighborhood has really gone down hill recently. I know we can't condemn an entire neighborhood because of the actions of a few individuals, but I would bet money that at least one of the members of this couple has cocaine problem.

    This is just a case of "cokehead's girlfriend blabs and they both got busted', the facebook angle isn't particularly novel...

    LK

  • I hope its more than $16k - or its a very poor quality diamond (bigger is better right?) - there is no way $16k will net you any diamond at 3 carats.
    • by madwheel (1617723)
      As mentioned below, total weight is a big part. If it's a solitaire, it's an I3 clarity with horrible color and cut. You can get 3 carats for under 20 if the quality is that bad. If you have a ring with 1-1.5 total carat weight of smaller melee diamonds, they can be almost worthless depending on quality. Either way, if it's a $200 ring, the sentimental meaning of it is priceless. It hurts the victim just as much, sometimes more if the ring isn't worth much. I think that's the worst part of all this.
    • Meh. Arguing over the what quality of diamond is "best" is pointless. They're all overvalued because of misguided sentimentality and the effectively criminal cartel, DeBeers.

      They're also pretty. If you must waste your money on shiny carbon allotropes, possibly mined by children, the best one is the one that you like the best: No matter how "flawless" or "high quality" it is, you're not getting your money back. Diamonds are not an investment.

  • by Sabalon (1684) on Sunday March 13, 2011 @11:22PM (#35476584)

    Okay...with a not so common name like that, it was easy to find her page. While I feel for her a bit (7 month old, hence the marriage pressure, and the fact that she fell for something like that), I just had to laugh at the current relationship status: It's complicated.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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