Solve the Mystery of the Stolen Ring

Solve the Mystery of the Stolen Ring
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.29

     challenging words:    burly, gregarious, karat, supposedly, individually, stylish, immediately, surprising, suspect, professional, sugary, setting, shock, strutted, employee, criminal
     content words:    Golden Pearl

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Solve the Mystery of the Stolen Ring
By Colleen Messina

1     Mr. Karat felt a cold shock race up his spine, even on this warm summer day. The February birthstone ring from the glass display case was gone! In the many years since he'd owned his own jewelry store, the Golden Pearl, he had never been robbed...until now.
2     His dazzling collection of birthstone rings was popular with his customers. The shiny center of each ring was like a delicious jellybean, bitten around the edges by the silver teeth of its secure setting. Mr. Karat thought it was odd that the thief had only taken one single ring, the grape-colored amethyst with its sparkling pink highlights.
3     Mr. Karat closed his store immediately and called the police. He told his three employees to go into the break room until the officer arrived. Mr. Karat was discreet about the theft. He had a strong feeling that it would be better for the policeman to explain the situation.
4     Soon, there was a tap on the door, and a large uniformed gentleman was peering through the glass front door.
5     "I don't understand it," Mr. Karat explained to Pete, the police officer, as the burly man entered the store. "The glass case must have been opened with a key since nothing is broken. Why would anyone only steal one ring?"
6     "I don't know, sir, but my job is to find out," replied the officer. "Right now, I am going to question the employees. When you called, you told me you were not going to tell them anything about the crime. That is excellent! I need to ask them questions, and I don't want them to have time to think about their answers. I'll also take a look at the security video that recorded what happened in the store this morning."
7     The precise, portly police officer strutted toward the small break room that smelled of stale coffee and sugary donuts. Pete's bald head glistened like a pearl under the bright store lights. The three employees waiting at the break table looked concerned.
8     Ruby was a college-aged girl with a sleek page boy haircut and stylish outfit. She was gregarious and loved to talk about gems. She knew a surprising amount of gossip in the tiny town because of the jewelry purchases of its residents. Ruby worked behind the counter every day and talked to many nervous boyfriends and husbands who wanted something pretty, but sensibly-priced, for their sweethearts. Pete did not think she would steal anything because she looked like a person who valued her reputation. Then again, people surprised him sometimes.

Paragraphs 9 to 16:
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