Gilbert Creep Charged With Extortion After Demanding "Finder's Fee" for Wedding Ring Found at Gas Station
On Sunday, Gary Maitha found himself in a nightmare situation for any married man: he lost his wedding ring.
Luckily, the ring was found by 41-year-old Gary Barnett, who offered to return it to Maitha -- as long as he agreed to pay a $100 "finder's fee," which aside from being a really dick move, also is illegal.
According to Gilbert police, Maitha left his ring at a Quick Trip convenience store at 726 South Gilbert Road on Sunday. The ring was later found by Barnett, who gave his phone number to store employees, telling them if someone came in looking for a ring to give him a call.
Why not just give the ring to the store employees to return to its owner, you ask? Barnett claims he didn't trust them. In reality, though, he saw a way to make some quick cash, police say.
Maitha returned to the Quick Trip looking for his ring and was given Barnett's phone number.
When he called, Barnett told him he'd be happy to return his ring -- for the finder's fee.
Maitha called the cops and told them Barnett was trying to squeeze some cash out of him for the return of the ring.
Detectives posing as the victim called Barnett and agreed to pay the $100. They set up a meeting with him near East Queen Creek and South Lindsay roads.
Barnett showed up, returned the ring, but did not collect the hundred bucks. Rather, he was arrested, taken to jail, and charged with one count of extortion.
Moral of the story: don't be a dick.
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