By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
Jada Hinman has not been in the habit of taking off her engagement ring since fiancé Travis Coonce gave it to her.
So, why did she take it off Feb. 28 while the couple was working out at Planet Fitness, 2981 E. State St., Hermitage? Hinman’s not sure why, but she did, putting it in her purse and placing her purse in an unlocked locker.
When she returned, the ring and $45 were gone.
“I just broke down,” she said of the theft.
The princess-cut ring has a main diamond in the center and two stones off to each side.
Coonce had taken Hinman to Tara in Clark, proposing in the gazebo.
“It was one of the best moments on my life,” the Sharon woman said. “I get goose bumps thinking about it. It was like a movie.”
Coonce, who works in machine maintenance and as a utility man at Joy Cone Co. in Hermitage, “had worked so hard to buy me this ring,” Hinman said.
“He told me he wanted to get me a ring as beautiful as I am,” she said.
Hinman filed a report with Hermitage police, and took pictures of the ring to local jewelry stores, asking them to call police if someone tried to sell it. She didn’t think the thief would try to sell it locally, but wanted to have her bases covered.
Hermitage police were told by Planet Fitness employees that Karen K. Romian had been seen going through lockers the day before the theft of Hinman’s ring.
When interviewed by detective Joel Ristvey, Romian admitted stealing the ring and one other from Hinman’s purse and selling them, but denied stealing money.
Ristvey – whom Hinman called “my hero” – called New Castle Gold, where Romian allegedly took the ring, and was able to recover it before it was processed or resold.
Hinman has her ring back.
“It was the best thing that could ever happen,” she said. “It was like a weight has been lifted from me. It was fate that I was able to get it back.”
Romain was charged with theft and allowed her case to proceed to Mercer County Common Pleas Court at a preliminary hearing last week. She has posted bond.
Hinman, who works in sales for AT&T, said she holds no animosity toward Romian.
“While I think you should be held accountable for your actions, it’s not for me to judge,” Hinman said. “I don’t know what’s going on in her life. I just wanted my stuff back and I got it. I don’t wish bad upon her. I just hope whatever help she needs she gets it. Life’s too short to hold grudges.”
Hinman also said she will take better care of her ring.
“I joke and say I’m going to size it so it’s a size too small so I can’t get it off,” she said.
Hinman and Coonce, who have a 1è-year-old son, are planning an Aug. 3 wedding.