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Pawnshop ordered to pay lawyer fees in dispute over stolen Tampa Bay Rays ring

ST. PETERSBURG — A Clearwater pawnshop must pay $1,460 in attorney's fees arising from a court case over a stolen Tampa Bay Rays American League Championship ring, the lawyer who sued said Friday.

R&W Pawn and Jewelry paid $695 for the ring in July. But when the rightful owner, Robert Windheim, asked the shop to return it, he was told he would have to pay about $350 to cover half the shop's cost.

Instead, Windheim sued, an unusual but required step under state law. Most people just pay up to avoid the hassle and the expense of a lawsuit.

Walter Orkisz, co-owner of the pawnshop, said he didn't think the shop should owe Windheim anything because they wanted to give the ring back earlier. He just wanted a certified letter from the state acknowledging that the shop was a victim in the case.

Windheim's attorney, Roy Glass, denied that the shop owners offered to return the ring before the court date, saying the co-owner brothers were "twisting the facts."

Scott Richardson, 41, is accused of stealing the ring and is in the Pinellas County jail. Richardson was working for New Tech Pest Control of Palm Harbor and doing pest control inside Windheim's home when he took the ring, police said.

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Pawnshop ordered to pay lawyer fees in dispute over stolen Tampa Bay Rays ring 10/15/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 15, 2010 5:25pm]
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