A $1 million diamond necklace stolen from jewelry show

A diamond necklace worth more than $1 million was reported stolen from a stand at an international jewelry exhibition in Manama, Bahrain, show officials told The Associated Press Saturday.

The Cartier necklace was stolen Friday night from the stand its owners, a well-known local company known as Asia Jewelers, had set up at the Bahrain Exhibition Center. The jewelry show, which opened Oct. 15, opened as planned for its last day Saturday, Oct. 19, the AP reports.

> Police and exhibition security officials told the AP they had two suspects but no arrests have been made.

It was the first such theft at the annual exhibition, which began in 1992.

“I think it is done by a professional,” said Younis al-Jama’, owner of Home Secure, which has provided surveillance cameras to the event for the past six years.

Al-Jama’ said the company had installed over a dozen cameras, many of them hidden, at exits and entrances and throughout the venue.

Armed police were stationed at exits and entrances. Although the venue has many door, all but one point for entry and exit were closed for the show.

Show organizers, speaking on condition of anonymity Saturday, told the AP that after the theft was reported Friday, police searched some 2,000 visitors. The necklace was not found.

“We were told that it’s extremely safe here, but it’s unfortunate that something like this has happened,” Ulrike Kielbassa, a German jewelry exhibitor whose stand was just about three yards from the Asia Jewelers stand, reportedly said Saturday. “We are not worried, but we are extremely careful now,” said continued, who had pearl-and-diamond necklaces on display. “This is our first time here, but we are looking forward to coming back next year.”

This year’s event dubbed, Jewelry Arabia 2002, featured $1 billion worth of diamonds and other gems, gold and silvery jewelry, and watches. Some 500 companies from 36 countries, including Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hong Kong, India, and Thailand took part.

Among the most expensive items is a $6 million necklace by Van Cleef and Arpel.