Channel 2's Matt Johnson reports

Man accused of swapping $28,000 diamond with fake

A man stole a $28,000 diamond and walked right out the front door of a Cobb County jewelry store, an assistant manager told Channel 2 Action News.

Employees at D. Geller and Son on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna told Channel 2 the man swapped the real diamond with a fake one while standing feet from an employee.

The man spent two hours in the store on Monday and returned after closing to say he wanted to buy the engagement diamond he eyed earlier, employees said.

Assistant manager Candy Johnson said the man told the staff he needed to step outside for a cigarette right when he seemed ready to pay for the diamond.

“We realized about as soon as he left that he had swapped our two-carat diamond with a cubic zirconium,” Johnson said.

Johnson told Channel 2 by the time her staff went outside to find him, he was long gone.

“It’s a stomach-dropping experience for sure,” she said.

Smyrna police got footage from the store’s security cameras, but employees say when the man made the swap, he did it in an area with no overhead cameras.

“At some point, he was able to kind of do a sleight of hand. He was definitely a professional,” Johnson said.

Staff notified Jewelers Security Alliance in New York, and the security alliance claimed the suspect looked familiar. An alliance official even gave Johnson a photo of what appeared to be the same man outside a Virginia jewelry store, where he’s accused of pulling off the very same crime, according to Channel 2.

Employees told Johnson Monday was the first time they had ever seen the man in the video.

No other details have been released.

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