The daring diamond heist is the latest in a string of similar robberies in the Seattle area over the past several years.

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The Washington State Patrol is asking for the public’s help as it investigates a diamond heist Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 5 in Seattle, the latest in a string of similar thefts in the area.

The incident was reported around 3:48 p.m. by a witness who initially believed an attempted carjacking had taken place on the westbound Highway 520 ramp to northbound I-5, the patrol said in a news release.

Troopers responded and spoke with the victim, who said he was driving to see to a jeweler-client in Seattle when a dark-colored sedan made an abrupt lane change and the driver slammed on the brakes, causing the victim to brake hard, the State Patrol said. A second vehicle then intentionally struck the victim’s car from behind.

Two men in bandannas then got out of the car, approached the victim’s 2017 Nissan Altima with Oregon plates and broke out both front windows, the Patrol said.

The men grabbed a bag containing $400,000 worth of diamonds along with the victim’s key fob and his phone. After they ordered him to open the trunk, the men took a large suitcase, the Patrol said.

The victim had his phone tracked to Northeast 42nd Street in the University District, where it was found in a grassy area.

Detectives are looking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident. They can call Detective Vik Mauro at 425-401-7746, or email

In October, a jewelry courier was stabbed and robbed in the parking lot of a Bellevue shopping center, by a man who made off with an undisclosed amount of jewelry.

In October 2016, a group of robbers boxed in a diamond courier’s car on an Interstate 5 onramp in SeaTac, held the driver at gunpoint and stole $400,000 worth of gems.

In April 2013, four men robbed a traveling jewelry courier as he was getting out of his car at Northgate Mall. The masked men, armed with ice picks, pulled up in a van and jumped out; they pushed the courier backward and punctured the rear tires on his car.

One month earlier, $500,000 in jewels was stolen from a courier’s vehicle as he was eating lunch at a deli on Mercer Island. The New York-based courier was in the area showing diamond wedding rings to stores and wholesalers, Mercer Island police said.