PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thieves target a Northeast Philadelphia jewelry store, pulling off a brazen heist under the cover of darkness.
Police say burglary suspects stole up to $1 million worth of jewels from Kim Thanh Jewelry store in Lawncrest.
The store has been robbed twice in the last three months. In January, a thief made off with a few pieces of jewelry. This time, however, the store was wiped out.
“This is a coordinated, organized plan,” said Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum.
The heist reportedly netted burglars about $1 million in jewelry.
“The safe is completely empty,” said Rosenbaum. “Probably more than one person. There is no way that one person can do all that and move that much merchandise out.”
Authorities believe sometime after midnight burglars broke into the jewelry store. The suspects cut wires to the store’s alarm system, then climbed up behind the jewelry store’s building, cut a hole into the roof and dropped down into the connected smoothie shop.
The burglars then broke through the smoothie shop wall into the jewelry store and cracked open the concrete safe.
“I have no words to say,” said jewelry store owner Diane Lung. “I feel so, so sad.”
She’s devastated because this is the second time she’s been burglarized this year.
“I tried to curl up, but I have to stand up. My life is here,” she said.
Her alarm company did call her about a possible situation at her store. She sent her cousin to check on it, instead of police.
“Two hours earlier, my cousin come and check everything, no problem,” she said.
Lung said she has owned the business for 19 years.
Originally the store was on Adams Street, but moved the business to the 5500 block of Whitaker Avenue last year because she thought the place was safer.