Lil' Kim Shines Despite Big Jewel Theft

06/24/2003 at 01:00 PM EDT

Lil' Kim is minus some of her trademark baubles, after the hip-hop star says that someone stole $250,000 of her jewelry at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to published reports.

Included in the thief's haul: Kim's signature "Queen Bee" necklace and platinum dog tags made of yellow diamonds, the Associated Press reports.

The singer (real name: Kimberly Jones), 27, was on her way to Los Angeles on Friday for Tuesday's Black Entertainment Television Awards, in which she's nominated as best female hip-hop artist.

Her jewel case was reportedly a Louis Vuitton bag. But a mistake during check-in caused the bag to be mixed up with eight other pieces of Lil' Kim's luggage, her attorney, Mel Sachs, told New York's Daily News.

Once Kim realized what had occurred, the flight was delayed and the prized bag became the subject of a search. The bag was retrieved, but some pieces of jewelry were missing and the case looked "tampered with," said Sachs.

Alan Hicks, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said Lil' Kim "filed a report for lost jewelry, and the incident is under investigation by the Port Authority police." He also commended her "for acting responsibly and being patient."

Meanwhile, Tuesday's News reports that the 4'11" Brooklyn-born diva will not be deterred and is still scheduled to perform at the BET Awards, although less decorated than usual.

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