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Man arrested for April Fools' diamond theft 'joke'

PHOENIX -- Tempe police detectives are not laughing at what a suspected jewel thief described as an April Fools' Day joke.

Police alleged 27-year-old Phuoc Tran had scoped out a $25,000 diamond at a jewelry store inside Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe on Monday. The following day, April 1, Tran allegedly walked into the same jewelry store and asked to see the gem.

"He turned around quickly and pretended he was going to run out of the store," said Tempe Police Sgt. Mike Pooley. "It was then he swapped the real gem for a fake, a cubic zirconia. He told the clerk, 'April Fools! I was just kidding. I didn't want you to think I was going to run.'"

The employee noticed the fake jewel and notified police. The following day, Tran reportedly returned to the store to return the stolen diamond and told workers it was all a prank.

Detectives arrested Tran for felony theft. During an interview, Tran admitted that he had planned to use the diamond to propose to his girlfriend the following week.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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