A Pink Panther-wannabe struck in a jewelry heist like no other, swapping out a multi-thousand dollar jewel for a fake at a Georgia jewelry store for the first time in the shop's 80-year history.
A man who identified himself as Mike Lynch came to D. Geller & Son in Smyrna, Georgia to look at jewelry about 1 p.m. on Monday, Sara Smathers, marketing coordinator for the store told INSIDE EDITION.
He worked with one of the store’s sales associates, looking at 2-carat emerald cut diamonds.
But the man did not buy anything and left, returning around closing time at 7 p.m. to look at a few more diamonds, she said.
“He stepped out and said he was going to smoke. When our sales professionals went back to the area he was sitting at, they inspected the tray and the diamond had been taken,” Smathers said.
The man had swapped out a diamond worth $28,000 with a fake cubic zirconia and left.
A sales associates tried to flag him down, but the man made off with the precious stone.
“The car he was driving was not visible and calls to his number were unanswered,” she said.
A police report was filed with the Smyrna Police Department.
Store officials believe the man may be working with an accomplice and could be tied to a theft attempt at a jeweler in Virginia during December 2015.
The stolen 2.15 ct round brilliant diamond is girdle inscribed with GIA Report #5193594096.