Virginia Jeweler Charged with Stone Switch

A Great Falls, Va., jewelry store owner was arrested July 8 on suspicions of switching diamonds.

Robert Mikail, owner of Vima Jewelry Store, has been charged with grand larceny, possession of burglar’s tools, and grand larceny with intent, according to a Fairfax County Police Department press release.

Police began investigating Vima April 6, after receiving a larceny complaint from a Vienna, Va., woman. The victim reported she had taken her jewelry to Vima for appraisal and when she returned she noticed a necklace and pendant were missing from the jewelry collection.

According to the release, a Maryland woman contacted police June 6, alleging Mikail offered to clean her diamond engagement ring while she browsed the store. Mikail reportedly took the ring to the back of the store and returned a short time later. When she returned home, the victim noticed the diamond appeared cloudy and damaged and upon review from a different appraiser, it was determined the diamond was a “stone” made of glass.

Police also report that a police officer took more than a dozen items of jewelry to be appraised at the store on July 6. The officer left the items at Vima Jewelry; he later retrieved the items and took them to an expert appraiser for inspection. It was determined the diamond rings had been altered