$200K worth of jewelry stolen in rooftop heist

PHILADELPHIA - October 26, 2011

The scene is the Hoa Binh Shopping Plaza in the 1600 block of Washington Avenue.

Police say sometime overnight, persons unknown managed to make their way across barbed wire which lines the building's roof in order to breech a metal hatch to gain entry into the building and avoid setting off the alarm system.

"Lowered themselves into the property, broke through several walls and then gained access to the jewelry store, to the vault," Philadelphia Police Captain Laurence Nodiff said.

First, the culprits had to break through a wall of the Nam Son Vietnamese Restaurant to gain entry into the Quang Minh Jewelry store. Then they had to cut through solid steel bars to get inside the cage that the store's heavy duty safe was housed in. Then they used a large masonry drill and other tools to cut through three layers of steel separated by two 6-inch layers of concrete to breech the interior of the safe.

"And approximately $200,000 worth of jewelry was stolen," Nodiff said.

The owner was devastated that the culprits cleaned her out of every piece of jewelry leaving her business in shambles and nothing to put in the display cases.

Police are going through the surveillance system to see if it was actually working and if it captured the culprits in action.

Meanwhile, authorities are asking anyone who may have seen any activity during the overnight hours at the Hoa Binh Shopping Plaza to call police.

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