LONDON (AP) - Guiseppa Cannata substituted a diamond worth more than $46,000 Cdn with a fake in a jewelry store, then boarded a train for Europe with his booty.

But the unlucky thief, who lives in Barcelona, Spain, caught the same train as the store owner, who spotted him and called police. On Thursday, the 55-year-old Italian was jailed for 2 1/2 years for theft at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Cannata, a compulsive gambler, admitted stealing the diamond.

Sheriff Andrew Lothian rejected Cannata's claim that the theft was impulsive, saying the act was "obviously well prepared."

"Were it not for the very lucky chance that the person who you stole from recognized you on the train you would have escaped," he said.

"I want to make it quite clear that people that come here to steal with the aim of disposing of the proceeds elsewhere will be dealt with very severely."

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