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‘Tourists’ dupe jewellery shop owner

KUANTAN: A jewellery shop owner incurred losses of about RM15,000 after being duped by six foreigners on Wednesday.

State CID deputy chief (1) Supt Nordin Mustapha said the foreigners pretended to be tourists as they had newspapers and maps with them when they entered the shop.

He added that the incident occurred at about 1.30pm and only the shop owner, 47, and her assistant, 40, were around.

``Two of them approached the shop owner and started asking for directions, based on the map. They spoke in English.

``The other four sat on the stools and placed the newspapers on top of the counter which displayed the jewellery,'' Supt Nordin said at his office here on Thursday.

Supt Nordin also said they left the shop after about 30 minutes on the pretext that they were going to a bank to withdraw money to buy some of the gold items.

However, the shop owner only realised that some of the jewellery was missing about half an hour later, he added.

There were traces of the glass counter being prised open but there was no broken glass, he said.

``By placing the newspapers on the counter and getting the shop owner and her assistant engaged in conversation, the other suspects could have managed to hook out some of the jewellery from a small opening in the glass counter using a slim object.

``This is the first time the police have come across such a tactic and we advise jewellery shop owners to be wary of people, especially foreigners, who come in groups pretending to ask for directions,'' he added.

Supt Nordin also said the shop, which just opened two months ago, was not equipped with safety features or CCTV (closed-circuit television).

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