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Man stole gold-and-diamond rings from mother-in-law to buy heroin, police say

Published On: Jun 14 2013 12:11:07 AM EDT

A man stole two gold-and-diamond rings worth $5,000 each from his mother-in-law's bedroom and sold them at a pawn shop for $130 to buy heroin, officials said.

Stephen J. Mease used a key to enter his in-laws' home in the 1200 block of Woodsedge Road, Bushkill Township, Northampton Co., between noon and 3 p.m. June 7, a time he knew no one would be at home because his father-in-law was in the hospital recovering from heart surgery, officials said.

Mease's mother-in-law called police Wednesday, after she discovered her rings were missing, and while officers were at her home, her daughter called to say she suspected Mease, her estranged husband, had taken her 2010 Chevy Cobalt from her driveway and other items from her home in Palmer Township, Northampton Co., while she was in the shower, officials said.


Palmer Township police convinced Mease to return the car, which is owned by his father-in-law, to his wife's home, and Mease was taken into custody, officials said.

Mease admitted to selling the rings for drug money to the Lehigh Valley Gold Exchange, 195 Nazareth Pike, Lower Nazareth Twp., Northampton Co., right after stealing them, officials said.
Mease, 26, of 124 Progress Ave., Nazareth, was arraigned Wednesday night on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and unlawful use of an automobile and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $35,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. June 21.