Scam artist hits local jewelers

Sonoma Police are looking for a persistent thief who has victimized local jewelry stores to the tune of nearly $7,000, using a forged credit card and the story that he wants to buy his mother a present for her 60th birthday.

The suspect, using a California ID in the name of “Ryan Mahoney” and a bogus Bank of America Visa card, entered at least four jewelry shops in Sonoma and one in Healdsburg, running the same scam each time.

Typically the card would be declined, but a clerk would then enter the card numbers manually and the transaction would go through.

On Jan. 14, the man tried to purchase a $3,200 gold bracelet at Filigree Estate Jewelers, but when the card was declined he left.

An alert employee called Sonoma police, who then contacted other local jewelry stores and discovered that three of them had been victimized.

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