Police arrested a Palo Alto woman on Monday after she was lured back to a San Mateo jewelry store where she allegedly stole diamonds and replaced them with synthetic gemstones last week, police said.
At about 2 p.m. on March 27, Walker entered Galati Jewelers at 35 E. Fourth Avenue, posing as a legitimate customer shopping for a ring, police said.
Walker looked at several loose diamonds and a solitaire diamond ring. When the saleswoman went to the shop's back room, Walker was left unattended and stole the solitaire ring, according to police.
Walker then bumped the hand of the saleswoman, causing a loose diamond to fall onto the counter. Walker switched the real diamond with a cubic zirconia of matching size without the saleswoman noticing, police said.
Before she left the shop, Walker told the saleswoman she planned on coming back to see more diamonds and left her contact information.
Police said the saleswoman later went to retrieve the loose diamonds and realized that the diamond had been switched for a fake gem and that the solitaire ring was missing.
The clerk contacted San Mateo police detectives, who confirmed that the contact information Walker had left was in fact legitimate and then lured Walker back to the store on Monday to view more diamonds.
Walker returned to the shop and viewed more diamonds. When she attempted to sell a suspected stolen necklace, police arrested her.
Police found her in possession of a loose cubic zirconia that was the same size as the diamond she was scheduled to view.
A search warrant for Walker's residence and vehicle were executed and police seized jewelry and loose cubic zirconias labeled with their correlating sizes, police said.
Detectives are continuing to investigate the case and are asking jewelry store, pawnshop and consignment store owners to see if they recognize Walker as someone who has come into their store. Anyone who recognizes Walker as a customer or client in their store, or are either missing merchandise or have purchased jewelry from her, are asked to contact San Mateo police Detective Ryan at 650-522-7670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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