Accused international jewel thief arraigned on Long Island

Alleged international jewelry thief Yaorong Wan is sneaky and sophisticated, according to investigators. 

While he may have stumped some last month after allegedly pocketing a watch worth more than $17,000 from London Jewelers in Manhasset, Nassau County detectives say they have outsmarted him.

"He uses a distraction technique to distract the sales personnel to look in another direction. As he’s doing that, he uses a sleight of hand, almost like a magician utilizes to cup and conceal a watch," said Chief of Detective Christopher Ferro with the Nassau County Police Department.

Wan pleaded not guilty to grand larceny after the alleged London Jewelers watch heist, but the same "sleight of hand" trick worked at Tiffany’s and Cartier in Manhattan. The 49-year-old allegedly swiped a diamond worth $250k and switched it with an imitation.

Yaorong Wan

Yaorong Wan

"He’s wanted in California, Miami, New Jersey, New York City, South Korea and he came into Nassau," said Nassau district attorney Anne Donnelly.

Wan is also wanted by Interpol in connection to a $332,000 theft in Korea back in 2018. Investigators say he has used the name Wen San to evade police, and he entered the U.S. illegally as an asylum seeker in December.

Nassau detectives, the NYPD, and U.S. Marshalls arrested Wan in Flushing this past Friday. They recovered the watch and other proceeds from prior thefts. 

Wan is currently being held without bail.

Investigators are sharing his mugshot and surveillance video of Wan, asking for the public’s help to see if anyone, anywhere else has come in contact with him.

FOX 5 NY reached out to Wan’s legal aid attorney. No one has returned our call for comment.