Rings worth $180k stolen in smash and grab

By Patrick OSullivan

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STOLEN JEWELS: Keri Mason, Napier Antique and Jewellery Centre co-owner, completes a stock-take after a $180,000 smash and grab raid. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN HBT140001-02
STOLEN JEWELS: Keri Mason, Napier Antique and Jewellery Centre co-owner, completes a stock-take after a $180,000 smash and grab raid. PHOTO/DUNCAN BROWN HBT140001-02

A brazen smash and grab netted $180,000 worth of rings from the Napier Antique and Jewellery Centre yesterday morning.

The jewellery heist, which included rings valued at up to $4000, was captured on CCTV cameras and police are also appealing for any information the public can provide.

Co-owner Keri Mason said the Tennyson St shop's alarm system was not activated by the 3am intruder.

"There had been a report to the police of noise that was made and somebody walking past noticed the broken window," she said.

"We came down and there was a huge hole in the window just above our counter and our main jewellery cabinet was broken - that had 180 of our expensive rings [inside it]," Mrs Mason said.

"On the video footage you could see a guy in a black hoodie jump straight through the smashed window, through to the cabinet where he loaded up all the jewellery trays into his black duffle bag and jumped back out the window."

The theft took just 35 seconds "from when he smashed the window to when he was back out the window".

No facial features could be made out from the security video "and he was deliberately slouching".

The average retail price of the gold, diamond and precious-stone rings was $1000, but "some were up to $4000".

"I'd know a lot of them if I saw them - there are a couple of unique ones," Mrs Mason said.

She owns the shop with her sister Raewyn Dailei.

Ms Dailei said: "It was all our stock for the cruise ship season and the busiest month of the year with Art Deco Weekend."

They were underinsured for the retail value of the rings and hoped police would recover them, she said.

"We are seriously out of pocket." Detective Ross Alexander said police had good lines of inquiry but were calling for help from the public.

"If anyone is being offered jewellery and have any suspicions over its origin they should give Crimestoppers or us a call," Mr Alexander said.

Despite the theft, it was business as usual yesterday for the sisters.

"We have to sell some more jewellery to make up for it," Mrs Mason said.

The sisters have been in business together for 25 years with only one similar incident.

"When we first opened the shop 18 years ago we had a burglary where they came in the back. Even the police said they haven't seen commercial burglaries like this lately - it's usually domestic," Ms Dailei said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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