Court hears of desperate gambling addict who stole two rings to pay of debt to loan shark

PUBLISHED: 13:02 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:37 02 June 2010

CCTV image robbery at pawnbrokers - Warren Laver

CCTV image robbery at pawnbrokers - Warren Laver

DESPERATE gambling addict Warren Laver snatched two diamond rings from Fenland stores in a bid to pay off a £500 debt to a loan shark. He ran off with a £999 diamond engagement ring from jewellers H Samuel in Wisbech town centre after convincing staff he

DESPERATE gambling addict Warren Laver snatched two diamond rings from Fenland stores in a bid to pay off a £500 debt to a loan shark.

He ran off with a £999 diamond engagement ring from jewellers H Samuel in Wisbech town centre after convincing staff he was planning to pop the question to his girlfriend.

And the next day he targeted Pawn Brokers Gold in March - said he was planning to propose on New Year's Eve - and snatched a £1,850 ring from the High Street store.

Both thefts were caught on CCTV - pictures were published in the Cambs Times AND Wisbech Standard-- and a tattoo on Laver's neck helped the public recognise him, Fenland magistrates were told.

"The loan shark had told him that if he failed to repay the loan he would see the inside of a wooden box," said solicitor James Macwhirter.

"They said "if we can't get you we will get your family," and they granted him seven days grace.

"He hatched the plan to steal the rings. But he was fated to be caught; all these types of shops have CCTV."

Prosecuting, Nicola Rice said Laver dismissed two cheaper rings in H Samuel before running off with the princess cut white diamond ring.

At the March shop, Laver asked to take a closer look at a diamond ring before running out with it.

"The thefts were quite blatant, he made no attempt to conceal his identity," said Ms Rice. He had sold both rings.

Mr Macwhirter added: "Last December he developed a pernicious gambling habit.

"He felt he was on a winning streak, went to a loan shark and borrowed £500. He agreed to repay £750 three weeks later, but he lost all the money."

Laver, 23, of Myles Way, Wisbech, admitted both thefts and was given a 12 month supervision order.

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