A Bridgeport man was charged with first degree larceny last week in connection with a mysterious diamond theft in which the real article was swapped out of an engagement ring for a fake.
George Lawrence, 40, turned himself in Tuesday after police notified him of a warrant out for his arrest. He posted a $1,000 bond and is set to appear in court Nov. 18.
The incident dates to May, when a Bailey Avenue resident contacted police to report that a 2.1-carat pear-shaped diamond from her platinum ring had been surreptitiously replaced with a smaller, marquise-cut gem.
The ring had been stored in a silver jewelry box in the woman's home at the time of the theft, she told investigators. Other valuable items were left untouched, she said, and there were no signs of forced entry to the house.
After communicating with Stamford police about a similar incident in the city, Darien investigators realized that a technician from Guaranty Pest Elimination had been present at both homes around the time the gems had gone missing.
Police soon developed Lawrence, an employee of Guaranty, as a suspect. A housekeeper at the Bailey Avenue residence told investigators that Lawrence had been instructed to confine his work to the basement but that he had gone upstairs at one point where the diamond was kept.
When questioned, the Bridgeport man reportedly denied being involved in the theft.
The stolen diamond, valued at $10,000, has not been recovered, police said.