ETNA, Maine — A local woman was arrested on a Class C felony theft charge after a friend she had visited discovered that bags of jewelry and coins worth at least $3,000 were missing.
After her arrest Saturday on the theft charge, Tiffany Layne Rivers, 37, was taken to Penobscot County Jail. She was released on bail later in the day, a jail official confirmed. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Rivers was a suspect in the case because she had visited the friend’s home on July 9, asking to use a computer for access to the Internet because her electricity had been shut off for nonpayment, Maine State Police Trooper Doug Franklin said Wednesday.
The friend consented and went outdoors to mow the lawn, leaving Rivers alone inside, Franklin said. When the friend came inside, she saw Rivers rifling through her belongings but did not notice that the jewelry and coins were missing until after Rivers left.
Police also said that a few hours after Rivers left the friend’s home, Rivers’ electricity at her own home was turned back on.
Franklin said the woman who reported the theft had been acquiring the jewelry and coins, some of it antique, from yard sales and such in anticipation of opening her own store.
The list of stolen items still was being compiled Wednesday but includes an assortment of rings, several pearl necklaces, bracelets, gold and diamond-studded earrings, high-end costume jewelry and coins, Franklin said, adding that the grand total in stolen goods so far amounts to between $3,000 and $4,000.
Franklin said he obtained a search warrant and executed it at Rivers’ home on Saturday but found none of the missing items.
Franklin did, however, recover five gold rings belonging to the woman.
“[Rivers] hocked them at a jewelry store in Newport for $50,” he said, adding that the rings, two of which had diamonds, had a combined replacement value of about $1,000.
Franklin said the case remains under investigation, and he plans to visit jewelry stores and pawn shops in the region to see if any more of the stolen items turn up. He said, however, that some of it might already be out of state because Rivers allegedly has connections in New York.