Ring with 8 diamonds goes missing; St. George woman arrested for allegedly pawning it

Stock image of St. George Police patrol unit, St. George, Utah, July 9, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George woman appeared in court Friday facing a felony theft charge for allegedly taking a ring reportedly stolen from a residence during a carpet installation and selling it to a pawn shop in Las Vegas.

Shakara Miquel Christensen, 32, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Feb. 4, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Shakara Miquel Christensen, 32, was arrested Thursday on a warrant issued out of 5th District Court for second-degree felony theft, following an investigation into an incident reported Dec. 30 of last year when a resident called police reporting the theft of a gold ring that was taken from the master bedroom of his home, according to court documents filed in support of the arrest.

While speaking with officers, the reporting party said he had hired two carpet installers to work in his home, and they had been installing new carpet the day before. Prior to the workers arriving, the homeowner had placed the gold ring on an organizer in the master bedroom on the morning of Dec. 29, and that evening the ring was no longer there. He also said the ring was purchased 50 years ago for $3,500.

Police were initially told the two installers were the only people in the home that entire day. The next morning, the homeowner spoke to the manager of the carpet company who then checked with both installers who denied taking the ring, according to the report.

From there, officers learned that 29-year-old Eugene Thompson Jr. was one of the installers who worked in the home that day. They also discovered that another individual, Thompson’s girlfriend, showed up to the home during the installation, a woman who matched the description of Christensen. She allegedly stopped by to pick up some money from Thompson and was seen driving a gold Ford SUV.

The day after the install, Thompson was scheduled to work on another carpet installation job but failed to show, but he reportedly denied taking the ring while speaking with a coworker

Bookings photo of Eugene Paul Thompson Jr of St. George posted Sept. 7, 2018 | Washington County, Utah | File photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Through the course of the investigation, officers learned that Thompson has an extensive criminal history that included multiple cases involving theft, some of which he obtained charges, while others he was only a person of interest.

While checking pawn shop records, officers found a pawn ticket for a men’s yellow gold ring with eight diamonds that was sold to a pawn shop in North Las Vegas under the name of Christensen on Jan. 11. The pawn shop manager also provided a photo of the ring, as well as a still shot taken of the woman during the sale of the ring that matched photos of Christensen.

Later, a photo of the ring was shown to the reporting party who confirmed it was the same as the one taken during the carpet installation.

Despite multiple attempts, officers were unable to make contact with either suspect and on Feb. 3, officers obtained a warrant for both Christensen and Thompson.

Each of the suspects has an extensive criminal history and both were also arrested in a case filed in  July 2018 when the couple’s infant was brought into the emergency room at St. George  Regional Medical Center, where ER staff reported the child was “vomiting, inconsolable, and displayed abnormal behavior,” according to the report.

After the child tested positive for amphetamine, Christensen and the baby’s grandmother both told hospital staff they did not know how the child got the drugs into his system and denied any drug use in the home.

Bookings photo of Shakara M. Christensen of St. George posted Sept. 7, 2018 | Washington County, Utah | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The infant was admitted to the hospital and remained there for an “extended period of time,” and according to reports, a more comprehensive toxicology test showed high levels of the drug. Hospital staff reported the incident to the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and police were also contacted. When officers made several attempts to contact both Christensen and the baby’s father they were unsuccessful.

Less than two months later, the Washington County Drug Task Force searched the couple’s residence where agents found several drug-related items, including in a bedroom where the child slept. Further, the items were found in areas “easily located while searching the bedroom,” court documents say.

Officers spoke to Christensen who said she only used drugs at a friend’s residence and denied ever using them at home. Thompson admitted to using heroin and told officers he had been wanting to clean up the house and get rid of everything, but denied leaving any drugs in areas where the baby could have gotten into them.

Christensen, 30 at the time of the arrest, was later charged with two third-degree felonies: one count of child abuse and one count of possession of a controlled substance. She also was charged with a class B misdemeanor for use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Thompson, 27 at the time, was charged with one third-degree felony count of child abuse, along with two misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance, and a class B misdemeanor count of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

A warrant was issued for Thompson’s arrest in the case on Oct. 2, 2020 when he failed to appear for sentencing. Christensen is scheduled to appear for a change of plea hearing in the case on Wednesday.

Following Thursday’s arrest, Christensen was charged with one second-degree felony theft by receiving and appeared in 5th District Court for an initial appearance on Friday. She remains in custody on $5,000 bail and Thompson remains at large.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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