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Scam Artists Steal Woman's Wedding Ring Worth Thousands

Updated: Wednesday, June 11 2014, 05:11 PM CDT

CHAMPAIGN -- She says it all happened so fast. The 80-year-old victim remembers four to six men of various ages, wearing gloves, she says they had a well-orchestrated plan.

According to police, this past Saturday, a group of men in a white van entered the 800 block of Hamilton Drive. They approached the 80-year-old woman who was out doing yard work and asked if she needed help around the house.

Deputy Chief Troy Daniels Of Champaign Police says, "When they entered the home they acted like something got on her ring and they wanted her to take it off to keep it from damaging the ring, and they were able to talk her out of her ring. So she took it off and they acted like they put it in a cup of water and put it in the refrigerator."

Police say they soon left with her wedding ring of more than 50 years, a two carat emerald cut valued at several thousand dollars.

Neighbor Noelle Thomas says, "I recall seeing a truck out front with a trailer and some lawn equipment and she said they had stopped by to see if she needed some work done."

Residents say they are inundated with advertisements and inserts into their mailbox for help around the house and for a senior or even a single mom, the idea appears worth considering.

Police are unsure if the elderly woman was targeted but say this type of scam is very common. "We have received reports like this before in the past. What happens is some people show up, they come into the area and they run scams, and they will act like they're going to do work and they don't do it", says Deputy Chief Daniels.

Residents say they really don't have too much trouble here. It's a very quiet neighborhood, some seniors and few children, but this is certainly a wakeup call. "I think from now on I'm gonna check on my neighbors more and just be more alert, and if I see something that doesn't look right I'm gonna investigate it," says Thomas.

Police say be very leery of someone showing up at your home to do work and if you allow them in, make sure they're supervised. These suspects are still at large.

**IF anyone has information about this case, PLEASE contact CrimeStoppers immediately 217-373-TIPS. They will keep you anonymous.

Scam Artists Steal Woman's Wedding Ring Worth Thousands

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