'Customers' steal rings worth $584,000

'Customers' steal rings worth $584,000

KUALA LUMPUR - Barely an hour after their first heist, two men suspected of stealing a RM1.2mil (S$470,000) diamond ring from a shopping mall struck another jewellery shop nearby and stole a RM280,000 emerald ring.

Police said the foreigners entered a jewellery store in a posh hotel in the Golden Triangle area, purportedly showing interest to buy an emerald ring at around 12.30pm on Thursday.

The store owner, who declined to be named, said the men were well dressed and flashed large amounts of US dollars, which made store clerks believe they were legitimate customers.

"They talked to one of our attendants, who took out the ring from the display cabinet to show them. They looked at it for a while and said they were interested in buying it.

"Then one of them came to me, seeking a bargain while the other man was alone with the box with the ring in it.

"After a discussion, we decided to lower the price and they seemed delighted," he said.

A police source said the two suspects then claimed that they did not have enough cash to pay for the ring's RM280,000 price tag and said they would be back after withdrawing more money from an ATM. They even asked the store clerk for directions to the nearest ATM.

"They set down the ring box on the glass counter and walked out of the shop.

"But when the clerk opened the box, she found that the ring was gone," the source said.

Checks on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage revealed that the suspects were the same ones who stole a RM1.2mil diamond ring from another jewellery shop at a mall in Bukit Bintang at around 11.30am earlier.

Police said photographs of the suspects had been circulated to authorities at every major airport and exit point in the country.

Dang Wangi OCPD Senior Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad said the police were still tracking down the men.

The suspects had earlier used the same modus operandi at the Bukit Bintang outlet.

An employee of the outlet took out a tray with 19 rings at the men's request.

SAC Zainuddin said that after looking at the rings for about five minutes, they told the employee they would return in the afternoon.

The employee realised the ring was missing when he counted the number of rings on the tray several times after they left, he said.

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