Tiffany diamond stolen from Beijing mall
Thu, Sep 02, 2010
China Daily/Asia News Network

BEIJING, China - Police with the Dongcheng branch of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau confirmed on Wednesday that they received a report of a diamond ring stolen last Friday from the Tiffany store at Beijing's Oriental Plaza.

"The case is under investigation," said Zi Xiangdong, who works with the publicity office at Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

A three-carat diamond ring, stolen at 9 pm on Aug 27, was priced at 2.19 million yuan (S$415,775), according to Beijing News.

A cleaner who works in the area around the shop said she heard from fellow cleaners that a foreign man removed the diamond ring after his companion dropped her own ring under the counter to distract the attention of the saleswoman.

The saleswoman chased after them, but failed to retrieve the ring, said the cleaner, who refused to be named.

According to a leaflet from the local police, the suspect had previously visited the shop on a number of occasions before he stole the ring.

The outlet, which opens on East Chang'an Avenue, had four staff members on duty the night of the theft, Beijing News reported.

At least two shop assistants and internal security workers are present when customers look at expensive diamond rings at the neighboring jewelry store Moneta, according to an unnamed member of staff.

The Tiffany store is equipped with six security cameras and police are examining the footage.

In response to the theft, local police issued a notice reminding stores located in the Oriental Plaza to provide better security training for shop assistants, as well as to install emergency alarms.

Stores were further advised to hire security or male shop assistants.

A female employee at Tiffany & Co in Shanghai refused to talk about the case, but said they were cooperating with the police.

Tiffany & Co has two stores in Beijing. The other one is at The Peninsula Palace.

Tiffany & Co is preparing for global expansion and will at least double the 12 outlets it has in China, the Wall Street Journal quoted Tiffany's chief financial officer, James Fernandez, as saying in July.

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