Phuoc Tran (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's office)
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's office)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A man arrested on April Fool's Day is accused of trying to steal a $25,000 diamond at an Arizona jewelry store and switch it with a fake one that was in his earring, police said.
Phuoc Tran, 27, later told police he wanted to give the real diamond to a woman he intended to propose marriage to the following week, a court document stated.
Tran was arrested the next day at the store inside the Arizona Mills Mall at 5000 W. Arizona Mills Circle after he announced it was all a prank and attempted to return the diamond, officers said.
On Monday, at the time of the theft, Tran asked to hold the diamond and examined it in front of two store employees, police said.
He quickly turned around and held the diamond out of the employee's sight, turned back around and said "April Fool's" while handing one of the employees a cubic zirconia fake diamond, according to a probable cause statement.
The staff recognized it was fake and confronted Tran, who ran out of the store, court paperwork stated.
Employees followed close behind and saw him get into a vehicle and disappear.
Police learned Tran had previously come into the store on March 31 to look at the diamond and exchanged his phone number with one of the clerks, a court document stated.
On April 2, Tran sent a text message to the employee stating the theft was a prank. He returned to the store a while later.
A store gemologist verified the diamond in Tran's possession was the same one stolen on April 1.
Tran was booked into Tempe City Jail on one count of theft.
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