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Convicted felon pockets $7k ring from jewelry store in South Loop: prosecutors

A man was charged with allegedly stealing a ring worth nearly $7,000 on Monday from a jewelry store in the South Loop.

James Winston, 55, appeared in bond court Saturday, five days after he pocketed a ring that had a price tag of $6,699 from the Kay Jewelers located at 1010 South Canal Street, according to prosecutors.

James Winston | Chicago police

On Monday, Winston walked into the store and asked a jeweler if he could take a look at a ring. The jeweler handed him the ring, which Winston took over to a magnifier in the store where he pretended to examine it, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Britt Steinberg.

Winston then allegedly slipped the ring into his pocket and handed another ring back to the jeweler, Steinberg said.

The original ring had four prongs, but the ring Winston gave back to the jeweler had six. The jeweler noticed the difference immediately and questioned Winston, at which point he fled the store, Steinberg said.

He was captured on the store’s surveillance video, Steinberg said.

Winston, of the South Shore neighborhood, was identified on Friday and arrested in the first block of South Wabash Avenue in the Loop. He was charged with theft by deception, according to Chicago police.

Winston had previously been convicted of multiple felony retail thefts, for which served at least four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, Steinberg said.

He was released on a $25,000 I-bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 18.

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