New Brunswick

Suspects arrested in $10K diamond theft in Saint John

The York Regional Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the theft of a diamond that is worth an estimated $10,000 in Saint John earlier in October.

Grigori Zaharov and Natalia Feldman of Vaughan, Ont., to be transported to Saint John to face charges

A couple suspected of bilking jewelery stores of high-priced gems is now in police custody. 1:38

The York Regional Police in Ontario have arrested two suspects in connection with the theft of a diamond that is worth an estimated $10,000 in Saint John earlier in October. 

Sgt. Charles Breen from the Saint John Police Force said they will be charged with theft over $5,000. 

Grigori Zaharov, 70, and Natalia Feldman, 44, from Vaughan, Ont. were arrested at their residence in Vaughan. The two were arrested on Wednesday night after a Canada-wide warrant for their arrest was issued.

Arrangements have been made and the two suspects will be brought to Saint John to answer for the charges related to the diamond theft. Breen said they should have the two suspects in Saint John by Saturday. Once that's figured out, they will appear in court in Saint John.

Wayne Smith, the owner of W. Smith and Co. Fine Jewellers in Saint John, said this man and woman asked to see loose gems at the store on Oct. 7. (W. Smith and Co. Fine Jewellers)
In Saint John, footage shows a man swap a gem he was being shown for a cubic zirconia while the clerk was distracted at W. Smith & Co. Fine Jewellers on Oct. 7.

Caught on camera

Store owner Wayne Smith was pleased to hear two suspects had been arrested. 

"The mood is ecstatic," said Smith. "I've been getting calls all morning that 'Congratulations, it was your video that got these crooks brought to justice.'"

Smith said that may be premature, but he was pleased with his employee Rhonda Dorie. Dorie was the one who realized the diamond she was showing the two had been switched with a duplicate.

Dorie has worked at the jewellery store since 1992 and has taken the theft personally.  

"I can't tell you how upset I've been that somebody could walk into our store, or any store and be so mean hearted as to do this" said Dorie.

Investigations elsewhere 

Zaharov and Feldman are suspects in other theft investigations.

"There's New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island for sure," said Sgt. Breen. 

Charlottetown police were also looking for a man and a woman they say robbed a jewelry store there of $20,000 worth of stones, again using a swap of cubic zirconia.

"It appears they were traveling in other areas, so we'll be releasing to other agencies across Canada to see if anybody has any outstanding files that they might want to speak to them about," said Sgt. Breen. 

The two are being held in the town of Newmarket awaiting transfer to Saint John.

About the Author

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.

With files from Matthew Bingley