canada africa partner reservation Jewel thief wanted in Florida uses classic move to get $255,000 ring from Tiffany, police say

Jewel thief wanted in Florida uses classic move to get $255,000 ring from Tiffany, police say

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NEW YORK – A jewelry thief wanted in connection with crimes committed from Florida to South Korea stole a diamond ring worth $255,000 from a Tiffany store in New York by swapping it with a replica cubic zirconia stones, authorities said.

The theft occurred on March 4 at a Tiffany store in the Rockefeller Center complex in Manhattan, according to a criminal complaint filed by the district attorney’s office.

Yaorong Wan, 49, asked an employee to show him several pieces, including the quarter-million dollar ring, the complaint said. Wan left without purchasing anything and the employee put the ring back in the display case.

A week later, during a routine inventory, Tiffany employees discovered that the diamond ring had been replaced by a fake with a cubic zirconia stone.

Police detectives reviewed surveillance footage from the store and saw Wan slip the real ring into his palm and switch it with the fake ring, the complaint said.

Wan is also accused of stealing a diamond ring worth $25,000 from a Cartier store in the Hudson Yards complex on March 12. In the second instance, he put the ring in his pocket and left no fake in place, the complaint said.

Wan was arrested Friday and arraigned Saturday in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of grand theft.

He has outstanding warrants for his arrest in New Jersey and in Nassau County on Long Island; is a suspect in thefts from Cartier stores in California and Florida; and is also wanted in South Korea on charges of theft from high-end jewelry stores, Assistant District Attorney Eliana Ramelson said at his arraignment.

Wan’s attorney, Amanda Barfield of New York County Defender Services, declined to comment Monday.