A man and woman accused of running ring-theft scams in three states were arrested this week after making off with a diamond ring valued at almost $18,000 from a Zales jewelry store in Waco and leaving a cubic zirconia ring in its place.

David Luis Sixtos, 35, of Dallas, and Ashley Vanessa Tarango, 30, of Arlington, were arrested after Waco police were called to the jewelry store on May 28. An employee alleged that the couple came in looking at engagement rings, then faked an emergency and left the store, leaving a cubic zirconia ring in place of a diamond ring valued at $17,860, an arrest affidavit states.

“Unaware to (the store employee), who was allowing the woman to try on the ring, somehow she managed to switch (the diamond ring) for a cubic zirconia ring with a tag from a theft that occurred in Arlington jewelry theft,” the affidavit states. “As a part of the scam, the white male went to his vehicle pretending to look for his wallet while the female faked an emergency inside the store and hurried out the door as she quickly gave the fake ring to (the store employee).”

As Waco police investigated, they exchanged information with Arlington police about the cubic zirconia ring, the affidavit states. Authorities have connected the pair to several similar jewelry scams in Oklahoma, Dallas and Shreveport, Louisiana.

“The pair was interviewed by Arlington PD and confessed to the thefts at the Waco Zales as well as several other jewelry stores that went across the state,” the affidavit states.

They have an initial state jail felony charge of theft locally, in addition to out-of-state charges. Tarango was arrested in Tarrant County and transferred to McLennan County Jail on Saturday. Sixtos turned himself in at the McLennan County Jail on Monday.

They both remained in custody Wednesday on an Oklahoma grand larceny charge.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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