Jewel Thief Released into the US Steals Jewels Worth $300K

An international jewel thief has been recently arrested after allegedly stealing $300,000 worth of jewelry from luxurious New York City jewelry stores. The thief had already had a track record of heists from South Korea until he was freed at the U.S. southern border near San Diego, California.

Yaorong Wan, who is 49 years old, had been previously wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization, better known as INTERPOL. Wan had been pursued by authorities in South Korea for allegedly stealing $332,000 worth of jewelry in the country’s capital of Seoul in September of 2018. After being captured by INTERPOL, Wan sought asylum, where he was then transported to the U.S. southern border near San Diego in December of 2023. With Wan was a red notice from INTERPOL, which indicated his history of theft to American authorities.

By March of this year, Wan had made his way to New York City, where on March 4th, he entered to shop at a Tiffany & Co. jewelry store in Manhattan. Wan then inquired about multiple items of jewelry. Eventually, Wan was granted access to hold one of the items, which was a diamond ring worth around $255,000. Allegedly, Wan was able to swap the store’s ring with a fake replica, and he then left the store without making any purchases.

On March 12th, Wan entered a Cartier jewelry store located in the Hudson Yards of Manhattan. NYPD stated that Wan inquired about two watches and two engagement rings, where he was again granted access to the rings, in which he returned one, but ran off with another. The Cartier ring that Wan had stolen was valued at $25,000.

However, last month was the thief’s last stop where he managed to steal a Chopard watch from London Jewelers in Long Island, valued at $17,000. Nassau County Police arrested Wan and charged him with counts of grand larceny.