Lo­cal knowl­edge?

Case dumped on back road may pro­vide clue

Seymour Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Cathy Walker

The dis­cov­ery of a glass jew­ellery dis­play case dumped in Seymour’s Dead Horse Lane this week may point to lo­cal knowl­edge in a brazen jew­ellery smash-and-grab rob­bery in the town in the early hours of Jan­uary 10.

That, and clear closed cir­cuit video footage of the well-planned heist that shows the lone bur­glar wear­ing dis­tinc­tive de­signer jeans and car­ry­ing a blue bag, are clues that Hall’s Show­case Jewellers own­ers Ali­son Hall and her brother David Hall hope may help some­one recog­nise the cul­prit and come for­ward.

The jeans have a but­ton-down flap back pocket on the left-hand side.

Mitchell Crime In­ves­ti­ga­tion Unit de­tec­tives are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the bur­glary in which the man smashed the glass front door of the Sta­tion St busi­ness with a sledge­ham­mer just be­fore 1 am.

Once in­side the thief, wear­ing gloves, a black bal­a­clava, black hoodie and black boots, strode di­rectly to a cab­i­net and jem­mied it open with a red-han­dled jemmy bar, re­mov­ing pads of rings in a me­thod­i­cal way and plac­ing them neatly into a blue can­vas holdall.

He then crossed to the op­po­site side of the shop, lifted the full dis­play cab­i­net and left, shov­ing the cab­i­net over bro­ken glass and through the hole he had bro­ken in by, drop­ping a num­ber of gold chains on the foot­path be­fore get­ting into a ve­hi­cle.

Ini­tial re­ports said $25 000 in jew­ellery was taken but that fig­ure has risen since Ms Hall in­ven­to­ried it.

Po­lice re­turned the dis­play cab­i­net from Dead Horse Lane, a quiet dirt lane off Tar­combe Rd, to the Halls on Mon­day, slightly the worse for wear and cov­ered in fin­ger­print­ing dust.

Empty, it weighs around 30 kg — a weight the bur­glar ap­peared to lift and ma­noeu­vre with ease.

‘‘We are re­view­ing the closed cir­cuit footage; there seems no doubt the busi­ness has been cased be­fore­hand — the per­son knew ex­actly where he was go­ing and what he wanted,’’ Ms Hall said.

Mr Hall said he ar­rived at the jew­ellery store only 10 min­utes or so af­ter the rob­bery when no­ti­fied by the se­cu­rity com­pany.

‘‘They picked a time when there weren’t too many peo­ple about,’’ Mr Hall said.

‘‘It was brazen and it was or­gan­ised.’’

De­tec­tives de­scribed the thief as Cau­casian, 20 to 30-years-old and about 180 cm tall.

They are also re­view­ing closed cir­cuit TV footage from other premises in Sta­tion St.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice has or­gan­ised a sem­i­nar in Mel­bourne to pro­vide safety and se­cu­rity tips for jew­ellery store pro­pri­etors af­ter a re­cent spate of rob­beries, many in day­light, and the Halls will be go­ing along with their own tale to tell.

The busi­ness has been in fam­ily own­er­ship for 50 years and Mr Hall said it was one of six or seven at­tempted rob­beries dur­ing that time, three of which had net­ted thieves a re­turn.

While clean­ing up the mess, re­plac­ing fix­tures and sort­ing out what was taken was bad enough, the bot­tom line for Ms Hall: ‘‘It’s hor­ri­ble to be in­vaded in this way.’’

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can phone Crime Stop­pers on 1800 333 000 or sub­mit a con­fi­den­tial crime re­port to www.crimestop­persvic.com.au

Planned at­tack: Closed cir­cuit footage shot from the front and be­hind shows the bur­glar emp­ty­ing a class case that he breaks open with a jemmy bar, then grab­bing a dis­play case as he leaves Halls Show­case Jewellers in Seymour about 1 am on Jan­uary 10.

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