Man pleads for return of lost rings
Man seen scooping up bag containing jewelry after Pierre Jolicoeur dropped it at Ottawa mall
When Pierre Jolicoeur realized what had happened, he was sick to his stomach.
"I literally vomited. Literally," Jolicoeur said Thursday.
The Clarence-Rockland, Ont., music promoter was at an Ottawa mall Wednesday to have his wife's engagement and wedding rings polished when he inadvertently dropped the bag they were in.
Before he knew it, the bag had disappeared — snatched up by a passerby, according to the security camera footage Jolicoeur said he was shown shortly afterward.
"The first thing I'd done, naturally, was to look at my feet, right? Well, it was gone — $10,000 worth [of jewelry]."
Happened at Place d'Orléans
The incident happened at Place d'Orléans, where Jolicoeur was initially planning to have a silver chain belonging to one of the musical acts he promotes polished up.
Since he was heading to the jeweller anyway, Jolicoeur said his wife, Marie-Anne, asked if he could also get some work done on her engagement and wedding rings.
Jolicoeur was on his way to the shop when he paused to take a few photos of a poster advertising an upcoming concert.
As he took out his phone, the black velvet bag containing his wife's rings slipped out of his pocket and fell to the ground.
When he realized it was missing, Jolicoeur began asking people nearby if they'd seen it. He then dashed off to find mall security.
Security officers took Jolicoeur to a room filled with video screens, where for the next two-and-a-half hours they pored over surveillance footage. Eventually, he said, they found what they were looking for.
"It showed a man ... with a hoodie just walking [by]," Jolicoeur said. "He just picked [the bag] up and walked away. And it's on video, so they notified the police."
Rings weren't insured
No one from Place d'Orléans was willing to be interviewed about the incident. However, general manager Kurt Fortowsky did say he was aware of the incident, and said mall staff are cooperating with police in their investigation.
Jolicoeur said he and his wife never bothered insuring the jewelry since the rings almost never left her fingers.
His granddaughter later posted a plea for help on Facebook, with a picture of the rings. Within about 24 hours, more than 1,000 people had shared the post.
Jolicoeur said his wife cried when he broke the news to her, but she also understood that dropping the rings was a simple mistake.
"She said, 'Pierre, I know how much you love me. And I know how much I love you.... You can replace material [possessions] but you can't replace love.'"