Story By: John Feng, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
Video Credit: AsiaWire
This is the moment a “loyal customer” is seen pocketing bags of precious gems from an unsuspecting jeweller who noticed nearly 300,000 GBP missing from his stock.
Jeweller Mr Zheng, from Luohu District in Shenzhen City in South China’s Guangdong Province, reported the suspected theft to local authorities on 18th March.
He had only just reopened for business at the end of February following a viral outbreak which has greatly affected his earnings.
When doing inventory, he noticed around 8.8 lbs of gemstones were missing, totalling around 2.52 million RMB (288,185 GBP) in market value.
Investigators inspected CCTV images from Mr Zheng’s shop, which showed only one customer visiting his business in recent weeks since he reopened.
The footage dated 6th March shows Ms Wang – described by Mr Zheng as a “loyal customer of three years” – pocketing gemstones while being allowed to choose from his inventory unsupervised.
According to police, Ms Wang was seen pocketing small bags of gems more than a dozen times in a two-hour visit using sleight of hand.
She would then pay for a small selection of stones at the end of her visit in order to avoid suspicion.
Local police arrested her in her home and uncovered more than 20,000 precious gems from Mr Zheng’s shop.
Officer Li, with the district’s Cuizhu Police Station, said: “She chose a few cheaper gems and asked for quotes, then she placed the more expensive ones inside a packet.
“She covered the packet under her phone, blocking it from view, and then pocketed the gems by putting her mobile phone into her bag.”
Mr Zheng told local media “I last did inventory before the new year, so I knew what the correct figures were.
“When I cross-checked the current count with these figures, I noticed a discrepancy. Then I realised we were missing some stock.”
Mr Zheng said he “fully trusted” Ms Wang and could hardly believe it when local authorities revealed who the thief was.
The shop owner added: “I’ve been in this business for 17 years. Whenever I asked her about stones I’d never seen before, she always knew the answer.
“I basically treated her as a teacher. I ask her things all the time.
“I never ever imagined she would steal from me.
“The cops said they found the suspect and located my gemstones just two hours after I filed the report.”
Ms Wang revealed to investigators that her family was heavily in debt from her husband’s failed business, reports said.
She reportedly admitted to taking advantage of her relationship with Mr Zheng to steal from him starting in November 2019.
She has been charged with theft.
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