10/26/2016 16:34 EDT | Updated 10/27/2017 01:12 EDT

Couple facing theft charge in diamond switch appear in Saint John, N.B., court

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Two suspects in a string of nationwide jewelry heists appeared briefly Wednesday in a New Brunswick provincial court facing diamond-theft charges.

Seventy-year-old Grigori Zaharov and 44-year-old Natalia Feldman of Vaughan, Ont., were arrested last week outside a Vaughan condo tower and flown back to New Brunswick, where they are charged with theft over $5,000.

A Saint John store owner has said two people presented themselves as a couple in an argument over how many carats to buy, and then switched a $10,000 diamond with a fake while the salesperson was distracted.

A date is to be set next Monday for a bail hearing for Zaharov and Feldman when a Russian interpreter will be present.

Saint John police have said the duo are "suspects in numerous other jurisdictions for similar incidents," and multiple police forces have been working on the file.