Scottdale woman makes plea on Facebook for lost ring
By Jennifer Reeger
Published: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Megan Gardiner can't believe someone stole her engagement ring from — of all places — a bridal shop.
But that's the only conclusion she can come to after she and her coworkers at MB Bride and Modern Tux in Greensburg searched the store high and low but couldn't find her ring after it went missing Saturday.
“I can't imagine being in a bridal store ... and taking somebody else's symbol of their relationship and ruining their trust in people,” said Gardiner, 26, of Scottdale.
She reported the theft to Greensburg police, then she reported it to social media.
On Monday night, Gardiner posted her plight on Facebook, asking everyone she knows to be on the lookout for the ring. Less than two days later, her post had been shared more than 2,000 times, keeping up her hope that the ring might be found.
“I hope that if someone does have it, they would reconsider and return it,” Gardiner said. “It's not just a piece of jewelry. It means a lot for us.”
Gardiner, who works as a sales consultant at MB Bride and a substitute teacher, said she was working at the bridal shop Saturday morning when she used the restroom.
She took off the ring to wash her hands and then went back to work. Five minutes later, she realized her ring was missing.
Gardiner rushed to the single-stall bathroom to find a customer coming out. The woman said she hadn't seen Gardiner's ring on the counter.
“My first instinct was it's in the drain,” Gardiner said.
She and her coworkers started an exhaustive search — in the garbage, in a closet, in the soap dispenser, behind the toilet and the sink — but didn't find the ring.
A maintenance man was called and he took the drain apart, but found nothing.
They looked throughout the store — in every dressing room, under the vending machine and in every dress — but the ring didn't turn up.
Gardiner said she realized the ring was stolen.
MB Bride manager Jennifer Mason said the staff told customers in the store that if anyone had the ring she could put it back in the bathroom and no questions would be asked.
“Having an engagement ring stolen from an actual bridal store is absolutely disturbing,” Mason said.
After filing a police report, Gardiner returned to the store to finish her shift on a busy Saturday, but she looked for her ring every chance she got.
“She was a trouper,” Mason said. “She tried to keep her composure all day.”
Gardiner said her fiance, Patrick Booley, 31, surprised her with the ring in July.
“I was totally shocked,” she said. “I had no idea he was going to ask me.”
Booley had begun searching for the right ring in November 2011, found it last February and then waited months for the right moment to pop the question.
The white gold, vintage-inspired diamond ring was a perfect choice for her personality, Gardiner said.
With or without the ring, Gardiner and Booley continue to plan their New Year's Eve wedding.
“There is a lot of emotion and sentiment, and it was a symbol of a lot for us,” Gardiner said. “It was a big landmark in our relationship, and we hope someday it will come back to us.”
Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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