North Chicago man finding himself stuck as he tries to get missing jewelry back from shuttered Sears

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (CBS) — A North Chicago man had been saving a diamond ring for a special lady, but now, his dream proposal is ruined.

The man, Marcus Gregory, blames the company he trusted for years. As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported, Gregory’s lost-and-found case is a complicated one.

Gregory still has the years-old receipts for jewelry he has been saving for his daughter. Also in his longtime collection is a shiny engagement ring.

He has been on the lookout for a lucky lady – but as of last August, Gregory is also on the hunt for that lucky lady’s bling. He said it was last seen at the Sears at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

“I took 13 pieces and I got back nine,” said Gregory, who estimates – adjusting for inflation and appreciation – that several thousand dollars’ worth of his jewelry disappeared during an annual cleaning and inspection. The items were promised back in two to four weeks. It has now been eight months.

He recalls a conversation with Sears employees.

“Where’s the rest of my jewelry?” he said. “It’s, ‘We don’t know yet. It hasn’t came back.'”

It hasn’t come back, those Sears employees allegedly said at first, from Sears’ partner, M&G Jewelers.

But Juan Guevara, the company’s president. promptly called CBS 2. While on the phone, he searched his records. He told the ticket numbers provided by Gregory don’t exist in his system.

That means the jewelry dropped off at Sears – for which Gregory has service receipts – never made it to M&G Jewelers. 

“M&G Jewelry said they never received it, so where’s my jewelry?” Gregory said.

It’s a question the romantic may never get answered, because the Sears in Schaumburg shut down in the fall –and Gregory’s appeals to corporate go nowhere.

“Give me the same type of item that I brought in,” said Gregory, who would prefer the items be replaced than to get compensated monetarily.

He showed CBS 2 emails he sent to Sears corporate and the responses received. A representative named Ray promised a refund update in 72 hours in December. Polly from corporate pledged the same in January. Gregory asked for help in February and March too. Now it’s April.

“You can’t ever reach anybody,” he said, disappointed in customer service which is ironic because Gregory is a company man.

He actually worked as a Sears sales associate for almost 10 years.

“It’s not that I was just a consumer. I was a faithful employee,” he said, no longer Sears’ biggest fan.

We tried reaching Transformco, the successor company to Sears, multiple times over the course of several weeks. No one ever got back to us.

Sears used to be a giant retailer based in Chicago. It is now headquartered in the suburbs and has just a handful of stores left across the country.

No Sears stores are open in Illinois anymore. The Schaumburg location where the jewelry apparently disappeared was the last one standing.