International jewel thief busted for swiping 2 diamond rings worth nearly $300K from Tiffany, Cartier: police

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An international jewelry thief who is wanted by Interpol and is accused of stealing from high-end stores in Beverly Hills, Miami and South Korea has finally been nabbed in New York, where he was busted last week for allegedly swiping two rings worth nearly $300,000 from a Tiffany and Cartier store. 

Yaorong Wan, 49, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court over the weekend where prosecutors charged him with two counts of grand larceny, according to a criminal complaint from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The first of those charges relates to a March 4 theft at a Tiffany store in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center complex where an employee let him see several pieces, including the $255,000 diamond ring. 

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Wan left without buying anything and the employee put the ring back in the display case. But a week later, Tiffany employees discovered during a routine inventory that the diamond ring had been replaced by a fake with a cubic zirconia stone. 

Investigators checked surveillance footage from the store and say Wan slipped the genuine ring into his palm and switched it with the fake, according to the complaint.

Then on March 12, prosecutors say Wan swiped a diamond ring worth $25,000 from a Cartier store in the Hudson Yards complex after he asked to see multiple pieces of jewelry, including two engagement rings and two watches.

Tiffany Rockefeller

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The store worker allowed Wan to hold two diamond engagement rings in his hand and while she was distracted, Wan handed back one of the diamond rings to Individual 2, but kept the second diamond ring in his hand before leaving the store without paying. 

Wan, who had identity documents with a different name when arrested, has open arrest warrants in New Jersey and in Nassau County on Long Island where he is accused of stealing an $18,000 watch. 

Rings jewelry case store

He is also a suspect in thefts from Cartier stores in California and Florida, Assistant District Attorney Eliana Ramelson said at his arraignment, according to Fox 5 New York.

In September 2018, he also allegedly hit a Tiffany’s in the South Korean capital of Seoul and made off with a $330,000 diamond ring, the New York Post reports.

Wan’s attorney, Amanda Barfield of New York County Defender Services, declined to comment Monday to Fox 5.

The charges in the Manhattan cases are not bail eligible.

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