Frances Cook is a Wellington based multimedia reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Smash-and-grab targets Lord of the Rings jewels

Jens Hansen Jewellers was catapulted to international recognition after designing "the one ring" for The Lord of the Rings. Photo / file.
Jens Hansen Jewellers was catapulted to international recognition after designing "the one ring" for The Lord of the Rings. Photo / file.

A jeweller known for designing "the one ring" for The Lord of the Rings, has been targeted in an overnight burglary.

Jens Hansen Jewellers in Nelson designed the rings for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, and continues to be known for producing high-quality Middle Earth jewellery.

Owner Halfdan Hansen believes that's what enticed a burglar to try to rob them overnight, using a rock to smash in to the Trafalgar Square shop around 2.35am.

But the intruder soon found that one does not simply rob a jewellers shop.

Tight security meant most of the valuables were locked away elsewhere, leaving the burglar only able to grab lower-value pieces.

The rock was then used to smash the glass display cases.

"I suspect it's probably frustration from them getting in and realising they weren't going to get much," Hansen said.

"So then they just thought I'll smash stuff and take my frustration out that way.

"We've been relatively lucky, it's just a mess from all the glass."

The orcish behaviour comes at what's usually the busiest time of year for the jeweller, as tourists flock to the region.

"The biggest people who miss out are the visitors to Nelson who come to see us because of our iconic status," Hansen said.

"Those who've only got a few hours, or a day, are going to miss out.

Staff are busy clearing up the smashed glass, and Hansen said the store planned to be open again by tomorrow.

The silver lining was that it showed their security systems were working.

"We're just a small business with a bunch of people trying to get on with our lives.

"We've been here more than 40 years, and once a decade someone might try to break the front windows.

"It's all on video, it's all safety-armoured glass, so we're happy with how it went."

Police would like to hear from anyone who was in the central Nelson area at the time of the burglary.

Any information can be provided to be police on 03 546 3840, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

- NZ Herald

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