Victim asks for help finding suspect in engagement ring theft at the Oceanfront

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A local woman is asking for helping finding the man who reportedly stole her $5,000 engagement ring at the Oceanfront.

“It’s just, it’s really heartbreaking,” said Amanda Evans.

On June 3, Evans, her fiance and friends traveled to the Oceanfront for the Patriotic Festival. It was her birthday weekend.

While some of the group left the beach to run an errand, she and some other friends went into the water off of 8th Street. Not long after, she glanced to shore.

“One of our friends, Mark, was trying to flag us down out of the water and we walked up,” she said. “I immediately started crying.”

Evans told 10 On Your Side that several of their bags — containing phones, credit cards and her engagement ring — were gone.

“I didn’t want to lose [the ring] in the water and my first instinct was just to keep it safe in my bag,” she said. “But it ended up not being safe in my bag.”

According to police, the thief was later captured on camera using one of the stolen credit cards at a nearby restaurant.

After seeing the surveillance image, one of Evans’ friends could recall having seen the suspect on the beach shortly before the crime.

“[My friend] saw him walking with his stuff… It was like he was looking for his spot to sit,” she said. “So I feel like he saw me put the ring in my bag… I feel like he watched me.”

As the weeks went on without the ring recovered, Evans’ sister surprised her with a new one.

“I just immediately broke down,” she said.

But still, Evans hopes police can recover the first one. Her fiance is still paying it off.

“He worked so much overtime to be able to afford it,” she said. “He set up the payments to pay it off in a year.”

Most importantly, they just hope the suspect will be caught.

“It’s ridiculous somebody could do that.”

With the busy holiday weekend approaching, Evans wants her story to provide a piece of advice for other beachgoers: “Don’t let your stuff sitting, whatever you do… You don’t think it’s going to happen to you until it does.”

If you can help police identify the suspect, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.