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Valley thieves accused of pawning dead neighbor's wedding ring

When a Phoenix man died of natural causes in October, his family told police that his cherished wedding ring was missing.

PHOENIX — Two suspected thieves have been criminally charged with stealing and trafficking items belonging to their recently-deceased neighbor.  

Court records show Mark Anthony Curtis and Christina M. Burns were recently indicted in Superior Court for crimes allegedly committed following the death of a neighbor. 

According to a report written by Phoenix police, the man was found deceased in his Phoenix home on Oct. 5, 2021. He had apparently died of natural causes. 

The man's family told police his wedding ring and wallet were missing. The relatives were alarmed since the man never took off his ring, raising suspicions that a burglar may have stolen it off his finger, police records show.

The man's family informed investigators one of his neighbors, Curtis, allegedly knew he had lived alone after the man's wife was moved into a nursing facility.  

Investigators went around to local pawn shops and discovered Curtis allegedly pawned a silver wedding band on Nov. 4 at a Phoenix shop.

Relatives identified the ring as belonging to the deceased man since it had a distinct pattern branded on it, records show. 

Investigators further discovered Curtis and an accomplice, Burns, had allegedly been using the neighbor's bank card to make purchases at local stores.

Court records appear to show Curtis has an extensive criminal history in Maricopa County.

The defendants are facing charges of theft and trafficking stolen property.

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