Police in Hickory, N.C., are looking for a jewelry store thief who stole from a store in the town’s main drag. But store employees allege that at least the man apologized before he broke into a display case and made off with the goods.
The smash-and-grab burglary took place in broad daylight while Bisanar Jewelers was open to customers. The thief drove up to the store on a motorcycle and entered, still wearing his motorcycle helmet.
That helmet, said the Hickory police, could help catch the thief. The distinctive helmet had flames and either a ghost or a skull on the side of it; the design is visible in the store’s security footage, which has been released to the public.
Before the thief smashed the case, store employee Christine Hurdt said he apologized. He then hit the glass with a hammer and stole several Simon G. diamond engagement rings.
As anyone going out engagement ring buying knows, the cost of such rings can be thousands of dollars, and custom designed rings are especially sought after.
The man then went back outside where his bike was still running and sped away. According to police, the motorcycle is black with a noticeable blue cap on the end of the muffler.
One witness who works nearby, Betty Mahoney, saw the thief riding his motorcycle on the sidewalk. He took off past the storefronts in the town’s main square, where she and Hurdt said someone could have been injured.
Investigators are looking through the town square’s security footage to find out what kind of motorcycle the thief had.
“There is really no way to know the actual value of what was stolen without more details. I would say “several thousand dollars” and keep it loose,” says Kristina Mahler, Partner, Diamonds Direct. “At Diamonds Direct, we take security very seriously. One advantage we have is that our store is on the upper level of a split level building. This means anyone walking up our stairs gets checked out by the staff. We also have our doors locked at all times so we have to physically walk over and allow a client into the store. The most important tip for anyone in the industry is to be diligent in observing your surroundings at all times.”
Luckily, Bisanar Jewelry kept its rings and other items in a glass case, which is currently patched with cardboard.
In San Antonio, Tex., last month, a couple stole several rings from behind a jewelry counter at a pawn shop while one partner distracted a manager. The thieves haven’t yet been caught.
A man in Nashua, N.H., also tried a similar trick at a jewelry store in February when he tried to steal a ring worth more than $25,000. He, however, was arrested and faces a felony charge punishable by 15 years in prison.