$450,000 in watches stolen in 45 seconds

Smash and grab robbery in Evesham, N.J.

March 9, 2012 9:44:52 PM PST
Police are looking for three suspects in a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store in Evesham, New Jersey.

Surveillance video caught three bandits in the midst of a smash and grab heist at Jay Roberts Jewelers on South Route 73 in Marlton, New Jersey.

It took them only 45 seconds to clear out $450,000 worth of high end watches.

The robbery happened at 7:44 pm Thursday night at the Jay Roberts Jewelry Store at 515 South Route 73.

Police say the three men entered the store and ordered all of the employees to get on the ground. One man proceeded to smash glass cases with a hammer while the other two suspects began collecting watches and placing them in a white laundry bag.

"Once inside, one male armed with a hammer -- yelled to everybody to get down. All the employees dropped to the ground. As soon as they went in, they went right for the men's watches - the high end watches. They broke numerous cases," said Sgt Joseph Friel.

The three suspects fled the store south through the parking lot. Witnesses reported that the males entered a dark colored sedan with a dull finish bearing unknown New Jersey registration.

Angela Lusk owns the salon next door.

"It's scary for the small business people that work so hard to get where we're at and then you have these other people who don't care about your business and just care about themselves," said Lusk.

Evesham Police want to talk to the two men who were caught on surveillance video visiting the Bernie Robbins store right across the street on March 1st.

Police think they might have been casing the place and decided to hit Jay Roberts Jewelers instead.

Authorities say the motive and the description match a series of similar smash and grab robberies in recent months at jewelry stores around the tri-state region.

In King of Prussia last July, a trio of masked men use hammers to smash open jewelry stores display cases and scoop up a half million dollars worth of Rolex watches in 30 seconds.

Wilmington November 1st another fast-moving smash-and-grab, this time targeting high-end gems worth millions.

January 9th, a similar blitz of this Lower Merion store.

February 22d in Radnor, a Bernie Robbins employee is rushed by a number of masked men waving guns. Once again, cases are hammered and scores of Rolex watches are taken.

In Marlton, New Jersey Thursday night, three men wearing bandanas and hoodies enter Jay Roberts Jewelers on South Route 73.

Using a heavy hammer, cases are smashed and 80 high-end watches worth $450 are gone in less than 60 seconds.

Radnor Detective Shawn Dietrich says there are differences between the 5 cases, including what is targeted. As for similarities, the speed and discipline of the varying size crews is a matter of concern.

"Like ours, this is a very disciplined group of individuals in and out very quickly, like ours was less than two minutes," said Detective Shawn Dietrich of the Radnor Township Police. "Yesterday's was less than a minute, so these are not amateurs."

While for the most part the robbers are masked, Radnor was able to come up with a sketch of the group's front man, and Evesham Police release a photo on Friday of two men they would like to talk to.

They visited a jewelry store near Thursday night's target, investigators think they may have been casing that store, but opted for the Jay Roberts store instead.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects or vehicle is asked to contact the Evesham Police Department at 856-983-1116, the Confidential Tip Line at 856-983-4699 or email at Facebook@Eveshampd.org.

You can also send an anonymous tip by text message by sendingETPDTIP to 847411