Rooftop burglars hit jewelry store

March 25, 2008 8:36:43 PM PDT
Police are on the hunt for rooftop jewelry thieves. The burglary happened in the 2400 block of East Venango in Northeast Philadelphia.

"They spend at least a couple hours here. That's what the cops say," said Henry Abitbol.

The owner of Goldfinger Jewelers was flabbergasted. Despite having surveillance cameras, locks, an alarm system and even a backup alarm system, thieves literally cleaned him out of over 100-thousand dollars in gold, diamonds and high-end watches, leaving only the cheap stuff behind.

"So what's the reason that we pay the alarm company? It don't make any sense," he said.

But then, police say, this was no ordinary heist. The thieves broke in through the roof, carving a large hole through roofing material. Before making their way into the store, they carefully cut all the wires to the alarm system and the wires to the surveillance cameras.

Whether or not it was an act of compassion, the thieves didn't touch the money in an empty water cooler bottle the owner stashed behind the counter.

It is the third time in six years that Goldfinger's has been targeted by thieves.

"The second time, they robbed us with guns. I wasn't here. My ex-partner was here and they came -- three guys with guns -- and they cleaned the place and they left," he said.

As smart as the thieves thought they were, police say they may have left finger and/or palm prints on glass counters. Those prints may prove helpful in tracking them down. Meanwhile, how does the owner hang in there?

"I don't know. I'm trying to be strong and don't let them win. That's it," he said.

The owner says about the only consolation is that the thieves were not able to get to other high-priced jewelry he had stashed in a large safe. He is planning to use that jewelry to get his business re-opened as soon as possible.