Crime WATCH

August 2008
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Fugitives sought in $3 million diamond scam

10:55 AM Wed, Aug 13, 2008 |
Michelle Ponto
 E-mail

Houston police are looking for two jewel thieves on the run.

Between July and October of 2004, 29-year-old Yaniv Asvara, also known as Simon Levine, and 27-year-old Ellen Martina Hammarback are accused to have allegedly ripping off multiple diamond brokers of more than $3 million in precious stones.

The two fugitives didn’t pull of the jobs alone. They worked with an accomplice who obtained credit fraudulently, and then using the credit, received large amounts of diamonds and precious stones. Once the accomplice had the jewels, Yaniv and Ellen would steal them. They’ve gotten away approximately $3 million.

All three suspects were charged and indicted on August 16, 2007. The accomplice has been arrested and is awaiting trial, but Asvara is believed to have fled to Israel and Hammarback is believed to have fled to Germany or England.

At one time, Asvara lived in the southwest area of Houston and Hammarback lived in the Galleria Area. Recent information has indicated that one or both of these fugitives might have re-entered the United States using an alias name and might be back in the Houston Area.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information. Call 713-222-8477.




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