Thief switches cubic zirconia for diamond

- He's a smooth talking thief who police said pulled a quick switch at a Smyrna jewelry store all while the cameras were rolling. It happened at the D. Geller and Son Diamonds store Monday. The man walked out with a $28,000 2.15 carat diamond.

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Heather Klisure, head of marketing for the store, said the thief claimed that his name was Mike Lynch. She said he entered the store in the morning and spent about two hours developing a rapport with a couple of sales associates.

Klisure said the man told the sales people he was searching for a diamond to mount on a ring for his fiancée. She said he returned when the store was about to close asking to see the big diamond again. She said he excused himself to smoke a cigarette outside. When he stepped the sales associate quickly realized he left a Cubic Zirconia for the real diamond.

Smyrna Police quickly responded, but by then, the diamond thief had gotten away. Police are reviewing outside surveillance video from other stores in the area to see if they can find a getaway car.

Michael Briant, a security consultant with Skydas Group International, said the thief has obviously done this before. He said the Jewelry Security Alliance, a kind of “Crime Stoppers” in the jewelry industry, has identified him as a thief who committed the same crime in Virginia. He said the theft in Virginia had the same M.O. as the one in Smyrna.

Briant said the thief capitalizes on his smooth appearance and demeanor to fool sales people into a comfort zone where he gets the opportunity to steal from the store.

Klisure said this is the first time someone has switched a fake for a diamond in the stores nearly 80-year history.

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