NYPD Catch International Jewel Thief after Tiffany, Cartier Heists

May 6, 2024
An alleged jewel thief was using a false identity when NYPD officers caught up with him, and the man is accused of stealing jewelry worth nearly $300,000 from Cartier and Tiffany stores.

An alleged international jewel thief wanted by Interpol was busted after stealing rings worth a total of nearly $300,000 from the Cartier and Tiffany stores in Manhattan, prosecutors said Sunday.

Yaorong Wan, 49, used sleight-of-hand at Tiffany & Co. at Rockefeller Center to swipe a diamond ring worth more than a quarter-million dollars, then hit the Cartier store in the Hudson Yards a week later, prosecutors allege.

Wan, who was using a false identity when police caught up with him Friday, has made a name for himself as a sticky-fingered serial thief, Assistant D.A. Eliana Ramelson explained at his Manhattan Criminal Court arraignment Saturday.

He’s the prime suspect in a series of Cartier store thefts in California and Miami, had a Red Notice from Interpol for high-end jewelry store heists in South Korea, and he’s wanted in similar crimes in Nassau County and New Jersey, the prosecutor said Saturday.

He walked into the Fifth Ave. Tiffany store on March 4 and asked a woman working there about several items, according to a criminal complaint. He asked to see the ring, which held a natural diamond mounted in platinum, then handed it back and left without buying anything.

A week later, workers doing a routine inventory realized the ring was swapped out for one with a cubic zirconia stone, and that the ring mounting was 18 carat white gold.

Surveillance video showed the crook slip the diamond ring worth $255,000 into his palm and make the switch, according to the complaint.

On March 12, Wan pulled a similar trick at the Cartier store at the Hudson Yards, prosecutors allege. He walked in, asking about two engagement rings and two watches, and a store worker allowed him to hold two diamond rings in his hand, according to the complaint.

He handed one ring back to the store worker while she was distracted and pocketed the second one. The ring is worth $25,000, according to prosecutors.

The NYPD’s Major Case Squad caught up with Wan inside a Gramercy Park apartment building and arrested him Friday. He was using the name Wen San when he was arrested.

The charges against Wan, second- and third-degree grand larceny, are non-violent and not bail eligible. He was placed on supervised release, then taken to Nassau County, where authorities had a warrant for his arrest.

Law enforcement source said he’s accused of stealing a $17,800 Chopard watch from London Jewelers in Manhasset.

Wan, who had a fugitive from justice warrant against him in New Jersey, was charged in Nassau with grand larceny Sunday, and ordered held on $500,000 cash bail or $1 million bond.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment Sunday.


©2024 New York Daily News.

Visit nydailynews.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Sponsored Recommendations

Build Your Real-Time Crime Center

March 19, 2024
A checklist for success

Whitepaper: A New Paradigm in Digital Investigations

July 28, 2023
Modernize your agency’s approach to get ahead of the digital evidence challenge

A New Paradigm in Digital Investigations

June 6, 2023
Modernize your agency’s approach to get ahead of the digital evidence challenge.

Listen to Real-Time Emergency 911 Calls in the Field

Feb. 8, 2023
Discover advanced technology that allows officers in the field to listen to emergency calls from their vehicles in real time and immediately identify the precise location of the...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Officer, create an account today!