TEMPE, Ariz. – Tempe police said a man stole a $25,000 diamond from a jewelry store then claimed it was an April Fools' Day prank.
Police said Phuoc Tran, 27, went to the Capri Jewelers inside Arizona Mills Mall on Tuesday to view a diamond that he had looked at the day before. While looking at the diamond, Tran quickly turned around with it in his hand and out of sight of the employee's view.
According to Lt. Mike Pooley, Tran turned back to the employee and said "April Fools" while handing back a cubic zirconia fake diamond. He then quickly left the store.
Employees immediately recognized the fake diamond and followed Tran as he fled to his vehicle. The employees got his license plate number and called police.
According to court documents, Tran had exchanged phone numbers with an employee on Monday and texted the employee Wednesday morning about returning the diamond, saying it was all a prank.
Detectives were at the store when Tran attempted to return the diamond and arrested him for felony theft.
Pooley said Tran took the diamond back to the store because he knew the police were looking for him.
During an interview with detectives, Pooley said Tran admitted that he had planned to use the diamond to propose to his girlfriend next week.