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Theft of $400,000 in diamonds reported in Florida

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A diamond wholesaler visiting Florida reported the theft of $400,000 worth of loose gems in what could amount to a well-orchestrated crime or the case of an ordinary burglar who got incredibly lucky, police said on Wednesday.

Jain Rajesh, 47, of New Jersey told police he left the diamonds in a red bag in his Orlando rental car for 13 minutes on Monday evening outside a buffet restaurant and the bag and diamonds were gone when he returned.

"They took the whole bag. That's why at this point we don't know whether he was targeted or was it a random vehicle burglary?" Orlando Police Sergeant Jim Young told Reuters. He added that investigators were looking into all possible angles in the case.

Investigators do not know how a thief might have entered or exited the car, which was outfitted with an alarm system, because all doors remained locked. The driver's side window was cracked, but not enough to gain entry, according to the police report.

Police said the only items reported missing were the red bag containing the loose diamonds and three blank checks from the front passenger-side floorboard. Nothing else appeared to have been taken or disturbed, including a GPS device on the windshield, the report said.

Young said he did not know whether any identifiable marks would make the gems particularly difficult to sell at a fair market price.

"In law enforcement experience, anything can be sold on the street," Young said.

Rajesh could not be located for comment.

(Editing by Tom Brown, Cynthia Johnston and Andre Grenon)

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