There's been a recent rash of jewelry burglaries across Omaha and police believe all the cases are connected. It's how these thefts are happening and how little time the thieves spend in the act that has owners on edge.
Bob Schipper says, "35 years, this is the first time we've had this type of thing happen." Bob Schipper is still reeling after thieves stole five cases of jewelry from the Artist's Cooperative last Thursday night.
He says after seeing the damage for himself that he thinks they came in with one goal in mind, to steal as much jewelry as possible.
Chase Moffitt says, "Thieves like this back alley; they waited until the coast was clear, it's off the beaten path, then they came to this door, it looks like they broke in, but it might not be the first time they were here." Bob says, "They must have cased the place because they would have to have realized that there was just one padlock holding this door."
Across the Old Market in Perspective Jewelry Design Studio, store owner Matt Powell says while he hasn't been hit it doesn't mean he's out of the woods. Matt says, "We're always concerned, fortunately we've been lucky, we haven't had any issues, but it is a problem out there."
Powell says, the orders at his store tend to be unique, this C.A.D. drawing and almost life like rendering help provide information and pictures in identifying each piece, in case the worst was to happen.
Matt says, "Usually they just get the photo; they've probably got an appraisal we've done with it, that tells us the specs of the stone, the clarity, the color, the size."
But Bob is left, asking one final and frankly honest question. Bob says, "Why don't they get an honest job, instead of robbing like galleries, with starving artists?"
The reported stretch of jewelry thefts started back in February just before Valentine's Day. The Artist's Cooperative is the only one downtown. Then three out west including Malashocks in Village Point and Hostettler’s Jewelry and Gifts located inside Countryside Village.