Key West man sells girlfriend’s jewelry but gets caught at pawn shop

A Key West man was jailed this week after police said he pawned a family heirloom ring belonging to his now-ex-girlfriend while telling her he was having some of her jewelry cleaned at the pawn shop.

Eli M. Friedman, 39, was jailed on suspicion of grand theft and claiming to be the owner of pawned items worth $300 or more.

Police were called Tuesday at 12:19 p.m. to Liquid Pawn, 1970 N. Roosevelt Blvd., in response to a dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend. When they arrived, Friedman was saying he only meant to pawn a ring Christine Green got from her mother to pay for her car insurance that he said had lapsed.

Green told police she keeps a few valuables, including her father’s watch and her mother’s engagement ring she says is worth at least $300, in a fire safe at the home she shared with Friedman.

“Green has the only key and the only time it isn’t on her person is when she sleeps,” Officer Anna Anglin wrote.

Green said she caught Friedman with the watch after discovering the items missing from the safe. He told her he had taken the ring to the pawn shop for cleaning, police said.

Before he was arrested, Friedman told the officers he wanted to “make restitution” and offered to pay for the ring and return it to Green. According to a pawn shop receipt dated Feb. 18, Friedman pawned the ring for $35, police said.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen