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Hook crook



A Romanian theft ring that stole three diamonds worth $1.1 million from a French jeweler in 2017 proved that the heist can be done through a scam.

The group’s modus was to look for victims in trade fairs. When they found the jeweler in Monaco, they were ready for their fake identities.

After two members of the syndicate convinced their target that two of them were wealthy Armenian gem buyers, another meeting was set in Milan, Italy to make the order, followed by a third and last meeting to examine and purchase the stones in Mazamet, France.

In the last meeting in August 2017, the poseur couple brought an independent appraiser who was in cahoots with them. The diamond expert brought a sealed box where the stones were placed.

When the deal was sealed, the buyers promised to transfer the payment by bank with the jeweler taking the box with him until the money was remitted.

No money transfer happened and when the trader opened the box, it was empty.

For a while, the swindlers were enjoying the fruits of their scam. But the law finally caught up with them last year and three of the four scammers were detained. On Tuesday, the four thieves were sentenced to four years imprisonment by a French court.

With their elaborate scam unsuccessful in the end, a simple thief from Australia using an outlandish stealing technique seemed to have beaten them and their modus.

The latter was able to snatch a $700 golden Versace necklace from a Melbourne designer store. He first broke the store’s glass window in the middle of the night and then took the necklace from a mannequin’s neck using a fishing rod.

Aside from his stealth, the thief proved elusive, even if he was captured on CCTV camera as police have yet to catch.

with AFP