Installer arrested for stealing ring from customer’s house

SSN Staff  - 
Wednesday, January 1, 2003

by Mike Higgins

NEW ORLEANS -A New Orleans man working for a local alarm installation company was arrested on Nov. 27 on charges he allegedly stole a ring from a customer’s house.

According to a report in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, James Meeuweberg, 31, was charged with felony theft by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office.

James Hartman, public information officer for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office, did not return messages seeking comment.

Meeuweberg allegedly removed a gold ring encircled with diamonds and sapphires valued at $5,000 from a Folsom area home on Nov. 12. Meeuweberg, an employee of Alarm Protection Services of Jefferson Parish, La., was installing an alarm system in the home with three other employees at the time of the alleged theft.

According to Spencer Smith, owner of Alarm Protection Services, Meeuweberg had been working at the company for about eight months, and had passed a background check from the state of Louisiana.

According to reports, when the homeowner noticed the ring was missing, he reported the theft to the sheriff’s office and Alarm Protection Services.

Smith said that once he learned about the alleged theft, he immediately questioned the crew that was working in the house and encouraged the homeowner to report the theft to the sheriff’s department.

According to Smith, the company conducted a polygraph examination on the crew, and said that after the test, the examiner informed him that he had reason to suspect Meeuweberg.

Smith said that on Nov. 23, he met with Meeuweberg, who denied taking the ring, and suspended him.

According to Smith, on Nov. 25, Meeuweberg resigned his position with Alarm Protection Services. Smith said that the homeowner received the ring in the mail a day later.

After conducting their own investigation, deputies questioned Meeuweberg the next day. He was arrested after he admitted stealing the ring and mailing it back to the homeowner.

Smith said this is the first time something like this has happened with one of his employees. “It’s one of those issues you hate to deal with,” Smith said. “We’ve been in business over 20 years and this is the first time we’ve had anything of this nature pop up.”