Police: Diamond heist was a bust

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The stuff of “The Italian Job” this was not.

A New Hope man is facing a felony charge after a brazen and ill-conceived attempt to steal a diamond engagement ring from an Apple Valley jewelry store, according to court documents filed last week.

Quin L. Howell, 23, has been charged with theft over $5,000 in connection with the July 15 incident at AV Diamonds & Gold, 14810 Granada Ave.

A jewelry store worker contacted police at about 5:15 p.m. July 15 to report that an adult male – later identified as Howell – came into the store and indicated he wanted to purchase an engagement ring in the price range of $5,000 to $5,500.

After viewing several settings and loose diamonds, Howell left the store for a short period of time, purportedly to make a phone call to his girlfriend, then re-entered and asked to see a one-carat, princess-cut diamond ring. The jewelry store worker placed such a ring on a display board.

At that point, Howell grabbed the ring and dashed out of the store, according to the criminal complaint.

Police located Howell nearby and placed him under arrest. He had the stolen ring, valued at $7,000, in his possession at the time of arrest, the complaint said.

Howell made his first court appearance July 17. If convicted of the felony theft charge, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

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