Wait for jewel-swallowing thief to 'return' rings

Last updated 13:45 04/12/2013
Brisbane diamond thief
CAUGHT ON CAMERA: The accused checking out one of the rings can be seen on security camera footage from the store.

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X-rays have confirmed two diamond rings worth A$59,000 are sitting in the gut of an alleged jewel-swallowing thief, but there's been no movement at the station.

Police are still waiting for David William Watts to return the jewels he allegedly stole from a jewellery store at a Brisbane shopping centre last Friday.

''The rings are still in situ,'' a police spokeswoman said.

Doctors have warned police that the process could take up to seven days.

Watts allegedly went to extraordinary lengths to conceal his loot after he was cornered by Good Samaritans at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.

The 50-year-old walked into Crown Family Jewellers dressed as a construction worker and showed interest in buying a diamond ring.

While comparing a one-carat diamond solitaire ring and a 1.53-carat yellow diamond ring with 28 smaller diamonds around the centre stone, he allegedly made a run for it with the jewels in hand.

Store manager Liljana McDonald set off in pursuit, yelling for help as she chased Watts through the shopping centre.

Other shoppers stepped in, cornering the accused thief in the back of a pharmacy, where the 50-year-old swallowed the jewels.

Watts faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with two counts of stealing and two counts of fraud and was remanded in custody until the jewels could be retrieved.

McDonald said the store was yet to decide what to do with the rings once recovered, although a charity auction has been suggested.

''I had one customer yesterday say, 'I don't give a rats if it's sh***y, I'll buy it if you give me a good discount','' she said.

McDonald said the store was also reviewing its security procedures in the wake of the robbery.

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- Brisbane Times

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