A trio of thieves was caught on camera using sleight of hand to snatch a $40,000 ring from a Santa Clarita jewelry shop.
Authorities say it’s also likely this is not the first time the group of slick thieves has done something similar.
The shop’s owner, Edmond, tells KTLA the thieves were so smooth, he didn’t suspect a thing while he was being swindled.
Security video from Jewelry Fixx captured the deft thieves in the act as their faces remained clearly visible.
The trio includes two women and one man who entered the shop around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. Video shows Edmond greeting them at a display case.
“They just wanted to buy a watch and a diamond ring,” Edmond recalled.
The thieves claimed to be Italian tourists who showed him a wad of cash they wanted to spend. Edmond showed them some items they could purchase including a six-carat diamond ring worth $40,000. He says that’s when the distractions began.
“They were talking to each other really loud, their hands were everywhere,” Edmond recalled.
Video shows the womens’ hands constantly moving around as they spoke. At one point, they asked for wrapping paper, a gift bag and a different ring box. As Edmond turns away for just a moment, one of the women is seen quickly snatching the ring and hiding it underneath her wallet.
A second woman continues wrapping the ring box, telling Edmond they’ll need to head back to their car to grab more cash for the ring. They offer the owner $1,000 as collateral to hold the ring for them at the store.
The trio then exits the shop while Edmond has no idea the ring has also left with them.
“We’re a small family-owned business, you know. Every day is a struggle for us to survive,” said Avo, Edmond’s son. “For somebody to come in here and do something like this really affects us.”
Edmond said he realized he had been robbed about 10 minutes after they left the store.
“It’s my mistake, you know,” said Edmond. “I shouldn’t have left it right there. It’s a lesson learned. You can’t just trust anybody. You have to be careful.”
Anyone who recognizes the suspects is asked to call the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office at 661-260-4000.