Robbed of £100,000 worth of jewellery checked into hold of plane
February 15th, 2012 by elisa

A part-time poker player had $160,000 (£101,000) worth of jewellery stolen from her when she was made to put her handbag away in the hold of the plane on the way from New York’s JFK airport to Las Vegas via Pheonix, Arizona.

Ms Lambert, 69, persuaded security staff to let her on the flight with her bag which contained the expensive jewellery, so as not to let it out of her sight. Staff at the gate allowed her to board the plane, but an airline worker approached her before take-off and ordered her to hand it over to be placed in the hold.

She said that she complied with the order because other passengers were waiting to take their seats, but she was ‘nervous’ about handing it over.

When she and her boyfriend landed in Phoenix for their connection to Las Vegas, they found that the bag had been emptied of the jewellery, which included a ladies’ diamond-encrusted Rolex watch worth $40,000 (£25,000), a 6-carat diamond ring set in white gold worth $60,000 (£38,000), and a $25,000 (£16,000) diamond ring with blue sapphires.

“I told the gate attendant: ‘Listen to me, I have more than $100,000 worth of jewellery here,'” she said.

“[The worker] looked at me and said: ‘You have a choice. You can either get off the plane . . . or [give over the bag] and take your seat. Nobody’s going to touch your luggage,'” she told the New York Post.

A spokesperson for US Airways said the request had been made because they were late for the flight and the overhead storage space was full; and that she had also been given the option to remove the items before the bag was taken away.

“We take this very seriously and are investigating with law enforcement,” the spokesperson said.

Mrs Lamberg has offered a $10,000 (£6,400) reward for the recovery of her jewellery.

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