BELLEVUE, Wash. —
It sounds like something out of a blockbuster movie: a jewelry heist, stolen valor and a missing $100,000 diamond.
While working for Diamonds Inc. in Bellevue this past February, master jeweler Kianoush Fanaeian remembers helping a customer.
“People getting engaged… happiness comes into this business. I am happy to do this job,” he said.
The man he was helping told Fanaeian he was a soldier shopping for an engagement ring, a story that struck a chord with Faneian.
“Actually (his) army clothes made me more comfortable to work with him, he seems like a good guy,” Fanaeian recalled.
Moments later, the customer snatched a 5.5-carat marquise-cut diamond. Fanaeian ran after him.
“At that time, I chased him. I don’t think about my insurance because I don’t like these types of people coming around me. That’s not right-- people thinking like that, living like that.”
Bellevue Police took the case from there and in April, the man caught on surveillance video was arrested in Vancouver, Washington.
The diamond-thief suspect was not a military veteran, but rather a 26-year-old man later identified as Arquae Kennedy. Kennedy is in jail, but at the time of this arrest, the diamond was nowhere to be found.
That changed this week when a captain with the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted that their Commercial Crimes Division had recovered a stolen diamond.
For Fanaeian, the loss wasn’t financial. His insurance covered the theft, but it felt like an emotional blow to an ever-trusting jeweler.
“One person cannot kill my trust no, no,” Fanaeian said.
Soon, the diamond will return to the open market while the man accused of stealing it remains in a jail cell in Aberdeen, Washington.