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FBI foils diamond theft ring linked to Oregon

Federal agents arrested five men accused of stealing $1.4 million worth of diamonds from jewelry stores across the country, including Lake Oswego, Portland and Grants Pass.
kassab jewelers lake oswego

PORTLAND -- Federal agents have arrested five menaccused of stealing $1.4 million worth of diamonds from jewelry stores across the country, including three in Oregon.

Investigators said in mid-December the men staked out Margulis Jewelers and stole approximately $147,500 worth of diamonds.

According to detectives, a few weeks later the men staked out Kassab Jewelers in Lake Oswego and took off with $25,000 worth of diamonds.

Weeks after the heist at Kassab Jewelers, federal agents said the men got a loot of diamonds worth nearly $300,000 from Hart Jewelers in Grants Pass, Oregon.

I really had a feeling deep down in my heart everything was connected under one ring, Rana Kassab told KGW. It was too planned.

The men are also accused of heists in California, Tennessee, and Nevada.

This is not some Hollywood fantasy film filled with 'A-list' stars and fancy cars, said Alan J. Peters, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. This is a criminal case with real victims stretched across the U.S.

He praised the work of Portland and Salem police and the U.S. Marshals in helping to break up the ring. The Oregonian reported that two men were taken into custody in Salem.

Five people indicted in Portland were charged with interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiracy.

Two of the five -- Michael Young, 39, of Davenport, Fla., and Ernest Remor, 36, of Spring Hill, Fla., appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Janice Stewart and were ordered detained as flight risks pending trial set for Sept. 27.

The indictment describes seven thefts between December 2010 and January 2011 from stores in Oregon, California, Tennessee and Nevada. It says the gems were transported to Pennsylvania for sale.

Three other defendants, Trey Adams, 27, of Charlotte, N.C., Victor Lupis, 25, of Monroe, N.C., and Jack Cannon, 25, of Madison, Ga., were charged in the indictment and will appear at a later date, according to U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton's office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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