Case dumped on back road may provide clue
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.