MESA, AZ — A Mesa woman is facing multiple felony charges after she was allegedly caught stealing diamond rings from multiple Valley Costco locations.
According to court documents, police say Keisha Joice of Mesa would approach the jewelry counter at Valley Costco locations, ask to look at a diamond ring, then police say she would switch it in her hand.
She’s accused of giving the clerk a fake ring in exchange – then heading for the door.
Officers say Joice did this at five different Valley locations: Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and Cave Creek.
Police estimate the value of the rings she stole was nearly $8,500.
Joice did this for about a month from late December to late January. One day she hit three different Costco locations.
Justin Cohen, VP at Elite Fine Jewelers, isn’t related to the investigation but says they’ve been in the business long enough to put security measures in place when customers ask to try on merchandise.
“What we do is we always get people’s ID, if they want to see something we get their ID and put it in the showcase,” said Cohen. “When they hand [diamonds] back, [we] always reexamine it.”
Costco was made aware of what Joice was doing when a Cave Creek customer came into look at a diamond ring, and it had a Walmart price tag on it.
Court documents state she was approached about stealing at the Cave Creek location but denied doing anything wrong. Police discovered she drove off the property with what they say was a fake license plate.
Two weeks after Joice was identified and arrested, police discovered Joice had pawned a ring she allegedly stole from a Scottsdale Costco.
Arresting officers also found she was charged with meth possession.
Joice was booked on five felonies of organized retail theft, felony trafficking of stolen property, and one felony drug charge.
"Costco is an extremely reputable firm, I’ve appraised a lot of different jewelry for them, a lot of times that ring gets returned to stock and gets sold to someone as something else,” said diamond appraiser, Mark Anthony Skarupa.
A search from Police found five diamond rings in Joice’s possession, including a ruby ring.
She had been wearing four of them.
Skarupa said to know if your diamond is real, get more than one inspection, and it can’t be done through the naked eye.
“To identify a diamond, it’s always going to be more than one test. Magnification, looking for characteristic inclusions, there’s other tests such as fluorescence, basically, it’s like a black light, sometimes a fluorescent bright blue color,” he said. “Have a relationship with a jeweler, whether it’s a chain store or an independent one for that.”