EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 6, 2013

Theft victim uses Facebook in effort to track jewelry

Photos of heirlooms posted to warn of possible sales

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — A marketing professional is using her skills at reaching out to others in hopes of getting back thousands of dollars worth of jewelry stolen from her home in a quiet, rural neighborhood.

She created a Facebook page called “Find my Jewelry” and said she wants to inform people about what was stolen and make it harder for the thieves to sell the items.

“If you’ve ever had anything you treasure stolen, you know the feelings of anger, sadness, disgust and fear,” said Dianne McDermott of McDermott and Company Marketing. “For me the only way to process this is through action.”

McDermott said thieves broke into her home on Whittier Road at the eastern end of the city on Monday and stole $30,000 in jewelry, including her great-great grandmother’s irreplaceable gold pocket watch, a garnet friendship ring her father gave to her mother, a star sapphire ring her parents gave to her when she was in her 20s, and her husband’s diamond wedding band.

“Each is a precious memory, not just a hunk of stone,” she said. “I work really hard for what I have and I want it back.

“I am not rich and this is a quiet, middle-class neighborhood,” she said.

Also taken was a gold dolphin pendant she bought while on a trip to Mexico, a nine-carat diamond-and-gold tennis necklace with stones of increasing size, a seven-carat diamond-and-gold tennis bracelet, a ring with three rows of diamonds, and a marquis-shaped ruby ring surrounded by diamonds.

“I want to make it more difficult for them to sell the jewelry and more difficult for pawn shops to receive it,” McDermott said. “If I make enough noise, not only in Haverhill but outside the city, my hope is that somebody will recognize my items and maybe contact the police.”

McDermott said she returned home on Monday afternoon and at first did not notice anything unusual. Then she went to the back door and found that its glass had been shattered. That’s how the thieves gained entry, she said.

McDermott walked upstairs to a jewelry chest in a hallway and found it was empty.

“They pretty much grabbed what they could and off they went,” she said.

“There is a connection to every piece, either a milestone in my life or some other event of importance,” she said. “Some people have nice cars. I drive a six-year-old Nissan sedan, but like to have nice jewelry.”

McDermott said a home on nearby Corliss Hill Road was broken into on Oct. 30 and only jewelry was taken, just like what happened to her.

She said police told her they are investigating the breaks.

“I mentioned what I was doing on Facebook to Detective Meghan Buckley, and she said I should try anything I could think of to get my property back,” McDermott said.