Raleigh woman loses irreplaceable ring in restaurant bathroom

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A Raleigh woman spent much of Wednesday in tears after her wedding rings went missing from a restroom at a Cary restaurant.

The woman, who doesn't want to be identified by name, told ABC11 that while her diamond ring is the most valuable, it's the wedding band that has the most sentimental value.

It belonged to her grandmother who died before she was born.

And she and her grandmother had something in common - they were both petite.

"I have really small, tiny fingers and so it fit me perfectly," she said., adding: "I didn't even have to get it resized. So it was a very special ring to me."

The saga began Wednesday when the young woman went to the Panera Bread in Cary's Crossroads.

She set the rings on the edge of a bathroom sink to wash her hands.

When she finished there were no paper towels so she got toilet paper from a stall.

She says because of that distraction she walked out of the restroom without her rings.

A couple of minutes later while sitting at a table she realized what had happened.

But when she went back in the restroom the rings were gone.

"I started panicking and I was looking underneath the sink and looking everywhere in the restroom. I asked people in there if they had seen any rings sitting there on the sink. They said no and they were helping me look for them. They said, 'I can't believe someone would take something like that.'"

She frantically searched for the rings, even emptying the garbage can with no luck.

A Panera Bread employee searched it a second time and still no luck.

A cover in the sink would have prevented them from going down the drain.

So she's convinced they were stolen.

She now hopes that if anyone took them to sell they will reconsider.

"I'm just hoping that whoever found them will do the right thing and return them just because they're so special to me," she told ABC11.

She filed a report with Cary police who say they are currently investigating it as a lost property case and trying to determine if a crime has been committed.

There are what appear to be surveillance camera pods in the Panera dining room ceiling.

But it's unclear whether - even if there is video - it will show who came and went from the bathroom after the rings were left.

ABC 11 reached out to Panera Bread's corporate headquarters but didn't get an immediate response.
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