27 January 2011
A jewellery store owner in Florida has had his store cleaned out completely of goods as thieves got away with more than $7 million in jewels, including unique estate gems.
Police in Jupiter, Florida, said the shop, Provident Jewelry, was raided over the weekend with the thieves breaking into an empty store adjacent to Provident Jewelry, going into the attic and then crawling inside the jewelry store.
Owner Rob Samuels said: "It's very disturbing to have been robbed and to have been robbed so completely," in comments to the local WPBF TV news. Samuels said the thieves used a jackhammer and blowtorch.
"These guys had to be experienced because of our alarm systems and the quality of our vault," Samuels said.
Samuels said most of his jewels were locked in a bank vault, but the thieves cut through the wall next to the vault to gain access, despite motion detectors and a two-way radio alarm system that was intended to sound if the electricity was cut.
"We didn't receive a call from our alarm company and neither did the police," Samuels said.
There are security cameras outside the store which are aimed at the vault inside, but police haven't released any of the surveillance video. "The police are really happy with what they've seen and a couple of leads they've gotten," Samuels said.
"This isn't a typical robbery," Samuels said. "I think this might be the largest (jewelry) robbery in the state of Florida. But there are people who make a living on robbing jewelers."
Samuels said the diamonds are registered, so whoever stole them will have a difficult time selling them if they are still in the country.