Staff and Wire Reports
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City police are searching for three suspects who allegedly stole $200,000 worth of loose diamonds Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators said the thieves broke into a car at a Valero on S Shields Boulevard. They took two cases containing the diamonds.
The diamond dealers, 47-year-old Daniel Amnon Singer and his father, 73-year-old Aron Chaim Singer of Tel Aviv, told police that when they stopped at the store, one went inside to pay for gas while the other remained in the car.
A green or silver Toyota sedan containing three men wearing hoods and overcoats pulled alongside. The men exited their vehicle, and two of them broke out the back windows of the Singers' vehicle and took the suitcases full of diamonds.
"From what we can see right now, was obviously a situation where the victims in this case, because they had a large amount of expensive diamonds, were probably followed to that location to where they were robbed," Sergeant Paco Baldarrama said.
The diamond brokers were on their way back to Will Rogers World Airport to fly to Israel. Their passports were also taken.
Oklahoma City police said the suspects' vehicle, with Oklahoma license plate BPZ158, was last seen on Interstate 35.
The salesmen had just visited Lewis Jewelers in Norman before the robbery. The store's owner, Glenn Lewis, said some traveling jewel salesmen now hire armed body guards.
"It seems crimes against traveling salesmen are on the increase," said Lewis, who also is the mayor of Moore. "They were traveling in a pair but they still got hit."
Balderrama said it was the first time he could recall such a robbery in Oklahoma City. He said that police are examining a surveillance tape taken outside the Norman jewelry store but are not releasing it to the public yet.
"A very big case obviously, so were asking anybody who may have information on this robbery...to please call Crimestoppers," Baldarrama said.