Costco stores have grown in popularity in recent years. But like anything that is popular, its weaknesses get exposed, and people start exploiting it. One woman has revealed how she would try on various Costco rings and then swap them with a much cheaper alternative. In her latest swap, the woman stole a $28,000 diamond ring from the New Jersey Costco location by replacing it with a cheaper ring that she had stolen from a different Costco.
Now Izabela Kolano has been caught and is facing a theft charge. Kolano had a system as she ran her scam against the giant wholesaler.
Kolano, 49, from Nutley, visited the Costco location in Wayne on Sunday. At that location, she stole a ring worth about $2,000. She then went to a different Costco location in Clifton where she asked to view another, more expensive ring, ultimately swapping it with the $2,000 one she had stolen earlier.
When Kolano tried on the $28,000 ring, she waited until employees looked away and then made the swap. She then gave the employee the $2,000 ring and fled the store, with the expensive diamond ring in her possession. The employees only realized what had happened after she was gone from the location.
Costco notified authorities and was able to identify the thief as Izabela Kolano quickly. Police arrived at her home but were not able to find the $28,000 ring. Eventually, after the police applied some pressure, Kolano broke down and told cops that she hid the valuable ring on a dead-end street. The police went to the location and found the expensive jewelry exactly where she said she hid it.
It is currently unreported if Kolano has retained an attorney as she gears up to face the theft charge.
Detective Lt. Robert Bracken listened to Kolano as she described the $28,000 ring’s hiding place. The police went out to a spot near the Passaic River in Wallington and found the valuable ring buried under a fence.
Because Detective Lt. Bracken was the lead on the case, he interviewed Kolano and got her version of the story. She described how she stole the $1,999 ring from the one Costco location and brought it to the other location for the swap later the same day.
“After looking at it for a few moments, she returned what was thought to be the original ring,” Bracken said.
But store management figured out the truth shortly after and called the police.
While people often shop for rings and diamonds at Costco, this woman’s theft proves that the rings might not be what they appear to be. If this scam is going on across the United States, then ring shoppers need to be wary about what they are buying. Unless you are absolutely certain that you’re buying the ring you’re being sold, then you should ask for verification from the seller to prove that the ring is authentic. Otherwise, you could be buying the $2,000 Costco ring when they’re charging you $28,000.
What do you think about this woman’s Costco diamond ring swap?