Pictured: Thieves nab £2,495 diamond ring in Northern Ireland jewellers
Police are hunting for brazen thieves who stole a stunning £2,495 diamond ring during a distraction theft from a Craigavon jewellers.
The theft of the impressive 1.2 carat diamond, which had been crafted into a princess cut baguette stone set in a white gold ring, was captured on CCTV by Faith Jewellers in Rushmere Shopping Centre.
The footage shows two men entering the store and appearing to browse through the displays at around 3.40pm on Thursday, May 11. One man calls a sales assistant to the front of the store, while the other remains beside the cash register.
Then, when the sales assistant is distracted and other customers have turned away, the thief reaches behind the counter and grabs the ring.
Director and owner of Faith Jewellers Rodney Simmons said he was "sickened" by the theft, and was offering a £200 reward for information leading to the return of the ring, one of the store's most expensive pieces.
"We count our diamonds regularly and we saw that this was missing, then we saw the CCTV," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"It looks like they knew what they were doing - it's unbelievable. You never think this will happen to you. The footage was a learning curve and will be used to train staff in future. The thief had to lean over the counter but the cabinet wasn't locked as it normally is, so he pushed it and took the diamond."
Footage of the theft has been viewed almost 150,000 times on social media, which Rodney hopes will help apprehend those responsible.
"I built this business up from nothing with hard work, and for someone to walk in and lift a ring worth nearly £2,500 has left me sickened and disappointed," he continued. "We will be more wary in future. It was a dear lesson, but it will make us stronger."
A police spokeswoman said the man who took the ring was in his 40s with short, dark hair, and was wearing dark coloured track bottoms and a grey top.
He spoke with a southern Irish accent and is believed to have been in the company of a second male.
It is also believed that police are linking the incident to another distraction theft from a separate business premises in the Portadown area.
Anyone with information can contact officers in Lurgan on 101 quoting reference number 460 of 12/05/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.