£80k diamond thief caught after posting holiday pics on Facebook

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£80k diamond thief caught after posting holiday pics on Facebook
£80k diamond thief caught after posting holiday pics on Facebook

A diamond thief who stole £80,000 worth of jewels has been caught out and convicted after posting his holiday pictures on Facebook.

Charles Rodriguez, 31, thought to be a member of London-based crime gang the Latin Kings, robbed a diamond trader in the street in Salford in October 2011.

He was identified on CCTV footage as one of two offenders who got away with two briefcases containing £80,000 worth of diamonds and pearls.

Rodriguez left the UK a month later on a false passport, but was tracked online after posing pics of himself sightseeing in Rio de Janeiro, where he visited before flying to his home country, Colombia.

Police were not able to arrest him as Colombia does not have an extradition agreement with the UK. But Rodriguez then returned to Britain last year on another false passport.

He was stopped by police for driving suspiciously on 4 December, and gave a false name, but was identified by his fingerprints, according to the Daily Mail.

But he'd still found time to post more pictures on Facebook just before his arrest, this time Christmas shopping in London.

Rodriguez was jailed on Tuesday (15 January) at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court for five years and four months after pleading guilty to robbery at an earlier hearing.

According to the East London Advertiser, Detective Sergeant Roger Smethurst said after sentencing: "Rodriguez's arrogance was astonishing. After committing an appalling attack on a jewellery trader, he fled the country to his native Columbia where he knew he could not be extradited.

"However, his lack of remorse was evident by the fact he brazenly posted sightseeing pictures from Brazil - at a time when he was on the run - on his Facebook page.

"Rodriguez must have thought he was above the law and untouchable because even when he finally returned to the UK, knowing he was still wanted, he still posted pictures of himself Christmas shopping in London on his Facebook page.

"But patience is a virtue and while Rodriguez thought he was living a carefree, jetset lifestyle, our officers were gathering overwhelming evidence against him so that when he finally did slip up, there was no escape.

"I would like to commend all those who worked on what was a complex and lengthy investigation, and just as importantly hope that this brings some sense of closure to the victim who has had to wait months and months to see his attacker brought to justice."

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