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Posted on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor woman hopes stolen wedding ring will be recovered

By John Counts


Lara Zisblatt's wedding ring belonged to her husband's great-grandmother. She hopes it might be found after going missing during a home invasion Tuesday morning.

Courtesy of Lara Zisblatt

Thirty-four-year-old Lara Zisblatt wasn’t too bothered that a suspected burglar made off with a few electronics from her Ann Arbor home Tuesday morning, but she is peeved that he swiped her wedding ring from the nightstand next to her bed.

“I’d be shocked if we got it back,” Zisblatt said about the ring, which belonged to her husband’s great-grandmother. “But I still have hope.”

Zisblatt caught the suspect in the act at the home she and her husband, Ypsilanti dentist Ryan Sasaki, 35, rent in the 1800 block of Chandler Avenue. She said she was coming home from playing tennis around 10:45 a.m. when she saw a man walking across her driveway with a backpack, which looked like one that belonged to her husband.

When Zisblatt noticed the screen-door of the house was propped open, she realized it was Sasaki’s actual backpack. They locked eyes.

“He was looking back at me, which made me think something was funny,” she recalled.

The man - who she described to police as a black male wearing all black clothing - started quickly walking away.

Despite being six-months pregnant, Zisblatt started chasing the suspect down the street in her car.

“I just put the car in reverse and he ran,” she said. “I was just hoping he would stop and drop the bag.”

Zisblatt only followed him for a few houses before the suspect bolted up the driveway of a house, ran into a backyard and hopped the fence. She returned home and called the police.

The suspect seemed to have left before he was finished. Zisblatt said their two televisions and a lockbox were set by the door ready to be brought out when she walked in. The first thing Zisblatt did was check on the two Shih Tzu mixes that were in the house - one belonging to the couple, the other they were dog-sitting for.

At 13 and 17 pounds respectively, Zisblatt admitted the dogs probably didn’t put up much of a fight with the burglar.

“I’m sure they both got a couple of pecks in and called it a day,” she said.

When the dogs were deemed OK, Zisblatt inspected the damage. Her purse had been dumped on the couch. Papers were strewn all over her home office. A laptop, iPad, iPod and PlayStation were missing.

Also gone was a watch Sasaki gave Zisblatt when they first met and her wedding ring, which she had left at home while she played tennis because her fingers swell from the pregnancy.

The ring probably dates from about the 1920s. Zisblatt said it’s worth infinitely more to her than it would on the streets.

“It’s not worth a lot,” she said.

Still, Zisblatt is holding out a slight bit of hope that if a picture of the ring was released, it could possibly be returned.

“Even though I know that it probably has been melted down for the little bit of gold already,” she said.

Anyone with information on the break-ins is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2537).

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

nice work AAPD.....might want to take to the neighborhoods instead of all the traffic enforcement......just a thought.....


Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

What's especially disturbing about this incident to many of us is we all thought Lara was 26.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 9:55 p.m.

Some people believe "anything for a buck."That being said i thought people never took their wedding ring off.

Renee S.

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

If you read the article, she took it off because her fingers get swollen due to her pregnancy. When I was pregnant I also would take my wedding ring off for this reason; it got very uncomfortable.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

So sorry you lost this ring. I have my Mother's engagement ring which is almost exactly like this picture. She was married in 1925, so I consider it an antique. Mine is set in white gold, and I certainly treasure it. Hopefully it will be returned.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Doesn't say if the house was locked and windows were shut and locked or not? I would like to know.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

These break-ins have GOT to stop! This is insane - every day there seems to be one or two more instances. I was broken in to last year and I STILL don't feel safe in my own home, even after moving to a new place. Is there a way to get our voices heard with the AAPD or YPD? I would like to start bothering people in higher places in hopes of getting them to actually DO something preventative, or at least stop cutting the police force. Any guidance in this area would be appreciated.

Amanda Zee

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

I agree! I live in the Lakewood sub near Weber's on the west side, and we had a rash of daytime break-ins this past summer. Then last Thursday my next door neighbor's back door was kicked in and they wiped out the house. She is a single mom with 4 kids under 9, and they have NOTHING now. They discovered it after school, and the police didn't even come and take a report until the next day.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

I hope you get your ring back Lara!


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

I'm so sorry for their losses, especially the ring. I wear a wedding ring that was in my husband's great grandfather's family and I know how I would feel if it was stolen. I hope that it can be recovered, though I know it would take a miracle.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Hopefully they can get it back. The best advice I can think of is to check Craiglist. These crooks steal and sell on there all the time

music to my ear

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

will take to long to get the money


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 12:14 p.m.

wow, that is terrible... sorry for your loss, make sure you check pawn shops, these crooks arent the sharpest tools around... damn...

music to my ear

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

a pawn shop closes to the home the ring was stolen from. usually the druggie cant wait. hope you find it there.and it erks me that pawn shops know the stuff is stolen and still give a pay out, where is our protection there really needs to be a law that implies a waiting period the pawn shops are just as guilty, hopefully. they will realize the ring is old and wait before melting it down (but I DOUBT THAT,)


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

Crackheads and jobless cowards....I couldn't be a cop, I'd want to shoot all of them.. I'm sorry for their loss, having been on the wrong end of this myself I can sympathize. It makes you paranoid.


Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 8:35 p.m. speak volumes......having been there and wanting the proper justice is very understandable......


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 11:10 a.m.

The absolute worst feeling is that your property has been invaded and you've been violated. Crimes of opportunity should garner much more severe penalties because only the most scummy of people commit them. These are the people that need to be locked up in jail for a long time to protect the rest of us.