Cyprus Mail

Police on the hunt for gem thieves after €180,000 diamond taken (updated)

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Two of the three suspects wanted by the police

By Nick Theodoulou and Iole Damaskinos

Police on Tuesday were on the hunt for three Russian-speaking gem thieves who in a high-stake con made off with a five carat diamond valued at €180,000.

CCTV footage showed the suspected diamond thieves – two men and a woman – entering a Yermasogeia jewellery shop on Monday at 4pm. They all wore sunglasses, and one man wore a baseball cap. The woman seen has bleached blond hair.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou said that the photographs of the three suspects have been handed over to the authorities at the airports and ports, where it is hoped that they will be apprehended.

So far, however, they have not been identified.

“We cannot rule out just yet whether they may have fled through the north,” Andreou told state broadcaster CyBC.

“We are providing the precise details of the case as it is possible that the suspects may attempt a similar heist in the future, they could seek to steal gems from other shops too,” he emphasised.

The police spokesman detailed that the heist was centred on a perfectly executed sleight of hand.

He said that the trio entered the shop with one of the male suspects asking the jeweller to place the €180,000 diamond on a white piece of paper for it to be inspected.

While the male suspect was inspecting the diamond, the other two distracted the shop owner and it appears that the real diamond was swapped with a fake.

It is understood that one of the male suspects had previously staked out the shop, having entered and asked to view the diamond. Andreou said that perhaps the suspect previously viewed the diamond to then create a copy to trick the dealer with.

The suspects allegedly then purchased a €400 gold chain and left without “buying” the diamond. The jeweller became suspicious, tested the gemstone and discovered the scam.

The suspects presented themselves as Russian-speakers, although Andreou said this could not be used as a definitive.

Police are searching for the suspects at hotels and other tourist accommodation units.

“We’re calling on anyone involved in the precious gems sector to be extremely cautious,” Andreou added.

Police urged the public to contact Limassol CID at 25-805057, or their nearest police station or the citizen’s line at 1460, with any relevant information.

stolen diamond




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