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Alleged thief passes swallowed diamond

May 21, 2012 at 7:54 PM

WINDSOR, Ontario, May 21 (UPI) -- A Canadian man who allegedly tried to steal a $20,000 diamond passed the gem nine days after he swallowed it, police said.

A salesperson at a Windsor, Ontario, jewelry store alerted police when Richard Mackenzie Matthews, 52, allegedly swallowed the 1.7-carat diamond and two cubic zirconia gems, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Sunday.

The salesperson said Matthews tried to switch the diamond out with one of the cubic zirconias.

Police held Matthews in a cell without running water until Saturday when he passed the diamond. Police said he had agreed to take laxatives and other fluids to help the process.

Once the diamond passed, authorities transferred Matthews to a county jail where he could shower and shave, Staff Sgt. Dave Kigar told the CBC.

Police charged Matthews with theft of more than $5,000 and breach of probation and he could face an additional charge of possession of stolen goods of more than $5,000 when he appears in court, Kigar said.

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