Man steals enagement ring from Walmart to steal girlfriend’s heart

Published 12:14 pm Friday, January 23, 2015

An Ashtabula, Ohio man is facing felony charges for stealing 14-carat white gold band from Walmart to propose to his girlfriend, according to police.

According to a sheriff’s department report, Joshua Budy, 30, is suspected of stealing more than $1,100 worth of merchandise from a local Walmart between Nov. 17 and Dec. 20, including an engagement ring valued at nearly $700, which he used to propose to his girlfriend.

According to a statement from one of the retailer’s loss prevention employees, Budy replaced the $700 ring with a $10 ring in the jewelry display case.

Police said Budy became emotional during a Jan. 15 interview, saying he only stole items his family needed. However, the loss prevention employee stated that most of the items he purchased with the fraudulently obtained gift cards were candy or cigarettes.

The report states Budy admitted that he stole the ring in an attempt to keep his girlfriend from leaving him. Police gave Budy until Tuesday to return the ring — which is now considered evidence for his theft charges — but the store informed police that he had not returned the ring as of Wednesday.

Budy is also accused of taking home care merchandise like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and laundry detergent, as well as diapers, an infant swing and a $28 scooter intended as a Christmas present for his daughter.

The report states Budy also stole two Xbox One video games, valued at $60 each, and an $85 iPhone 5 case — items which police say he gave to another employee and his girlfriend, to be returned fraudulently for Walmart gift cards.

Justin Dennis writes for The Star Beacon in Ashtabula, Ohio.