Smash-and-grab thief makes off with family heirloom

Omaha, Neb. (WOWT) -- A smash-and-grab theft left a victim heartbroken. An irreplaceable family heirloom was among the valuables stolen.

After a brief stop at the office Saturday morning. Dr. Nicole Bergerson had a sick feeling, “and saw the window - there were pieces of glass hanging and it was shattered,” she said.

Her unique bag was missing and like a purse it was full of personal items including a bracelet - a gift from a proud grandmother when Nicole became a doctor.

Dr. Bergerson said, “It’s not replaceable, that connection with a hallmark in my life, and a big moment in my life and my grandma.”

Though from a different case, a video shows a similar pattern of a thief targeting employee vehicles behind a company.

Nicole parked and locked her car on the back side of an office building. While it appears the thief used some sort of a crow bar to smash the window they didn’t reach in and open the door which would have set off the car alarm. ”

The psychiatrist tried to put herself in the mind of a car burglar so she searched a nearby dumpster. “While they grabbed the wallet maybe they threw the bag away,” she said.

No luck finding the bag with a zipped pocket that contained the bracelet she was taking to a jeweler for a new clasp.

Dr. Bergerson said, “The bracelet was made in the 1930s so it’s kind of a vintage collectible kind of thing as well as having the sentimental value of my grandma.”

Though leaving the bag for less than an hour, Nicole learned that at no time are valuables safe - even in a locked car at work.

The victim’s credit cards were used at a convenience store near 72nd and Center but management will only release video of the suspect to Omaha police. We’ve made a request for a copy. A description of the bracelet has been sent to pawn shops and a national database.