TEMPE, AZ - Tempe police arrested a man on Wednesday accused of stealing a $25,000 diamond as an “April Fools” prank.
Phuoc Tran, 27, entered Capri Jewelers located inside the Arizona Mills mall in Tempe April 1 and requested to look at a diamond, police said.
While looking at the diamond Tran turned around and said “April Fools” and handed a cubic zirconia fake diamond back to the store employee, police said.
Quickly after switching the diamonds Tran left the store and employees called police. The next day he returned with the diamond stating he only took it as a prank, according to police.
Employees followed Tran and watched him get into a vehicle, noting the license plate number. According to court documents, Tran had been in the store the day before and exchanged his phone number with an employee while looking at the diamond.
On April 2, Tran sent a text message to the employee saying he wanted to return the diamond, that it had been a prank.
Tran was arrested by police when he tried to return the diamond.
“He admitted to it, and in his interview he actually said he had planned to take it. He was planning on proposing to his girlfriend next week. He was going to use this $25,000 diamond to propose to her,” said Tempe Police Sgt. Michael Pooley.
Officials said Tran is facing felony theft charges.