Although two people were arrested in January in connection with a November jewelry store robbery on West Bay Road, no charges have been brought against anyone in connection with the case.
Equally as important, from store owner Mitzi Callan’s perspective, none of the jewelry pieces – many of which were made by the long-time Cayman Islands business owner – have been recovered.
“The pieces that were stolen were handcrafted jewelry that I designed and made, in addition to limited edition Carrera y Carrera,” Ms. Callan said. “The pieces that were stolen were of significant amount and obviously, as an artist, it has wounded me tremendously.”
Mitzi’s Fine Jewelry has been at its West Bay Road location for about 26 years, Ms. Callan said, and she has been in the jewelry business here since 1976.
Asked whether the extent of the robbery on Nov. 18, 2015 would force her to shut down, Ms. Callan declined to comment. “It is a small business,” she said.
On Friday, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service released images of many of the jewelry pieces taken during the heist. Photos of 26 separate pieces, including emerald and diamond rings and necklaces, were made public in an effort to find information about those responsible for the robbery. Police said they believed other pieces not pictured in the release had also been stolen.
“Detectives believe that someone has seen this jewelry in past months or knows its whereabouts,” the police release stated. “He or she may have information about who stored it or may have been offered it for sale. They may have seen someone wearing this jewelry, quite possibly in unexpected circumstances for such high-value items.”
Although no one has been charged in connection with the Nov. 18 robbery, court testimony from late November 2015 in a separate theft case referenced the jewelry store robbery.
In that court appearance, a former Mitzi’s Fine Jewelry employee, Madeiny Williams-Rodriguez Ebanks-Pol, 37, denied involvement in the Nov. 18 robbery – stating she had been kidnapped that day, just before the robbery took place.
Ebanks-Pol was charged with two counts of theft from the store. The thefts occurred on Nov. 7 and Nov. 11.
Defense attorney Keva Reid told the court during the late November appearance on the theft charges that Ebanks-Pol went to the jewelry store on Nov. 18, 2015 to pick up her employment check.
As she was leaving the store, the defendant said she was kidnapped at gunpoint. She said she ran from the place where her kidnappers eventually left her and managed to reach the door of a nearby residence where the occupants called police.
Ms. Reid told the court that a public announcement issued by police on Nov. 23 asking for information as to the whereabouts of Ebanks-Pol in relation to “a series of incidents” at the jewelry store had given the wrong impression. In February, Ebanks-Pol admitted stealing a diamond ring, valued at $4,000, and a charm bracelet, valued at $2,000, from Mitzi’s Fine Jewelry on Nov. 7. She also pleaded guilty to stealing a gold necklace and a diamond pendant from the store four days later.
Ms. Callan said Thursday that she did not want to comment regarding the police investigation into the robbery, but noted that the alleged thefts “were a severe breach of trust” and “made it very difficult as a small business owner to move forward.”
A $10,000 reward has been offered through Cayman Crime Stoppers for information that leads to the recovery of the stolen jewelry or the conviction of those responsible for the robbery.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the stolen jewelry, or information regarding the robbery, should contact the Drugs and Serious Crime Task Force at 649-7710 or [email protected] Anonymous tips can be provided via the Miami-based call center of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS), or online: www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=681.