Brazen crooks steal diamonds

Stuff like this usually only happens in the movies.

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.

It took between 20 and 25 minutes for anyone to notice the back door of the display case was open.

A closed-circuit television video that was reviewed by the Caymanian Compass, did manage to catch the two men in the act. But police had reported no arrests 
by press time.

Store manager Deepak Mirchandani said Tuesday that the CCTV video was sent to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and officers were in the process of investigating the case. RCIPS spokesperson Janet Dougall confirmed Tuesday that officers were looking into the incident.

One of the men caught 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.

”We phoned the police department, immigration, customs, everybody did really well helping us,” he said. “We [gave] the pictures to the security guys from all the ships. But they didn’t find any guys that looked like this.”

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 without smashing the glass. 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.

”Maybe they were planning it for a little bit earlier, I’m not sure.”

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 minutes.


    According to what I am reading, it would seem that these are professional lock-picking-thieves. But as I see it we are still not learning, even the hard way. Sales persons and Managers already know what happens with Cruise Passengers and cruise staff. Maybe if the store check other videos they will see that these crooks was in the store before. Probably asked a member of staff questions about the piece. I do not think it was their first trip looking at the pieces. What jewellery store owners have to do is to have costume jewelly displayed and the real deal is locked away. These cruise ship passengers only wheel and deal, half of them dont have any money, and they take away more than they contribute, wasting the time and energy of sales people asking to see this and that. I do hope they are caught. A jewellry store makes good money, so special camera should be zoomed in on anyone who spends too much time inspecting a piece. Pieces as such should have an alarm underneath when it is removed by anyone else except staff. There is yet more to come. Take some good advice try and spend some money to protect expensive jewellery. Or should I ask the question, is it Insured for twice the amount.

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