Pawn shop returns Riverview woman's stolen jewelry

RIVERVIEW — Weeks after deputies say a hospice worker stole her and her late husband's wedding bands, Gertrude Eastman has the jewelry back.

A pawn shop where those and other jewelry taken from her was found had initially told Eastman, 77 of Riverview, she'd have to pay $2,100 to get the items back. The shop changed its mind Thursday.

"I feel wonderful that they've brought it back," Eastman said. "It was very special to have all these things come back to me, especially my wedding ring and my engagement ring."

Eastman's engagement ring, wedding band, her late husband's wedding band, a gold coin necklace and several other pieces of jewelry worth more than $15,000 turned up in a Seffner pawn shop, Hillsborough County deputies said.

Former hospice worker Jason B. Russell, 27, has been charged in that theft and others.

Russell was first arrested Sept. 22, accused of stealing jewelry from LifePath Hospice customer Jane Meek. Since then, at least five other victims have come forward, including Eastman.

Deputies believe Russell swiped Eastman's jewelry when going to her house to delivery oxygen tanks.

"I'm angry with Jason," she said. "But I'm so thankful to all the people who were involved in getting my things back."

Pawn shop returns Riverview woman's stolen jewelry 10/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 8:24pm]

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