Police are hunting a man who allegedly robbed a jewellery store of a $300,000 five-carat diamond by swapping it with a worthless fake.
The alleged thief pulled off the brazen switch at Cerrone Jewellers’ flagship store in Sydney’s Martin Place at 10am on Tuesday.
He allegedly looked at the unset diamond before taking it and leaving one of much lesser value in its place.
Police are hunting a man (pictured) who allegedly robbed a jewellery store of a $300,000 five-carat diamond by swapping it with a worthless fake
Employees at the store realised the stones had been switched after the man left, calming walking out into the bustling pedestrian thoroughfare.
Cerrone retail manager Alison Kotevski said the man had visited the previous day and examined the $300,000 diamond,The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
‘We think he studied the diamond and had a copy made before coming back to the store on Tuesday,’ she said.
Forensic examiners were called to the store after police established a crime scene.
The alleged thief (pictured) pulled off the brazen switch at Cerrone Jewellers’ flagship store in Sydney’s Martin Place at 10am on Tuesday
Forensic examiners were called to the store (pictured) after police established a crime scene
The suspect is described as Asian, with a slim build, and short black hair.
He was wearing a grey jumper, dark-coloured pants, black Nike-brand sneakers, and carrying a shoulder bag.
Tuesday’s robbery is not the first time Cerrone has been targeted by criminals.
The man (pictured) allegedly looked at the unset diamond before taking it and leaving one of much lesser value in its place
Cerrone stores (pictured is the Martin Place flagship store) have been targeted by thieves in the past
House of Cerrone in Leichhardt lost $3 million worth of jewellery in 2004 when thieves carrying guns smashed through security doors with sledgehammers.
They forced staff and customers to the floor as they ransacked the store and stole items – among them earring previously worn by Delta Goodrem.
That heist followed three which took place in three months in 2000, with one of the robberies netting thieves $2million worth of goods.
Police are urging anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
The store manager said the suspect (pictured) had been in the store on Monday, and believes he examined the stone in order to copy it
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