Two theft suspects – who either posed as or who actually were cruise ship tourists – walked out of a George Town jewellery store Monday morning with the two most expensive pieces the business had on display.
Not one of the more than two dozen people who were inside Effy Jewelers on Fort Street at the time the theft occurred noticed anything was happening, even though the two expensive pieces were being kept in a glass case at the front of the store.
A closed-circuit television video which was reviewed by the Caymanian Compass, did manage to catch the two men in the act.
Store manager Deepak Mirchandani said Tuesday that the video had been sent to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and that officers were in the process of investigating the case. RCIPS spokesperson Janet Dougall said Tuesday that officers were looking into the incident but couldn’t release a statement about it immediately.
One of the men on the video was actually carrying a towel that was believed to have come from a ship in port that day. Mr. Mirchandani said that authorities were contacted Monday morning and passengers from one cruise ship were scanned, but no one matching the theft suspect’s description was found. There was simply no time to scan the passengers on the other three cruise ships in port Monday, Mr. Mirchandani said.
The two pieces, a 15 carat diamond tennis necklace and an 18 carat gold setting tennis bracelet, were taken from the front display case, he said. The case is visible from the street, but it cannot be opened from outside the store. The two pieces were easily the most valuable ones in the front display that day, he said.
“These are the two most expensive pieces,” Mr. Mirchandani said. “They really knew which corner to go around; they did their homework.”
The store manager said none of the staff or other customers noticed what was happening partly because the thefts occurred at the busiest time of day – 10.30am – and there were literally dozens of people in the store. Also, there is a large rectangular marble column in the front of the business just behind the entrance. This would have shielded the view of many store customers and staff from the display case, the store manager said.
On the CCTV video, the two men can be seen casually wandering into and out of the store. When the theft occurs, the younger man stands alongside the marble column, serving to further block customers’ and staff views of what was happening. Meanwhile, the older man can be seen picking the lock on the back of the store’s display case. At one point, he is forced to stop because of customers entering and leaving the store. Eventually, the glass case is opened and the man is caught on the video taking the two expensive items.
Following the thefts, the older man leaves the store taking a right turn. Meanwhile, the younger man waits for about five seconds and then walks off in a different direction.
The entire theft took about two mintues.
Mr. Mirchandani said no one noticed the door of the glass case had been opened until about 20-25 minutes after it happened.