A man believed to have escaped from prison reportedly robbed a jewelry store at Vientiane Center shopping mall on Monday, making off with a number of highly valuable diamonds.
Bountem Gold and Jewelry shared information about the man who stole a diamond ring and bracelet worth over LAK 3 billion (USD 176,404) on their Facebook, asking people to help locate him.
Before stealing the valuables, the man had visited the store several times and inquired about the products before he was able to identify the most expensive items, according to the store.
The owner of the jewelry store, Ms. Bountem Sengsouvanh, stated in an interview that the man came in and said that he wanted to purchase diamonds. He was friendly and displayed no suspicious behavior.
“I declined his request to photograph the ring he liked because the store prohibits photography. He tried on the ring and bracelet multiple times before he stole them and ran out,” said the owner of the store.
The security officers of the mall attempted to close the entrance doors, but the armed man fled on a motorcycle after threatening them with a firearm.
The store is offering a reward of LAK 200 million (USD 11,760) for individuals who could provide information about his whereabouts so that they can recover their valuable assets.