One million dollars in jewelry stolen from Hinesville store

Police lights file graphic.
Police lights file graphic.(Gray News, file)
Updated: Sep. 28, 2020 at 1:37 PM EDT
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HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - A million dollars in jewelry was stolen from a store in Hinesville early Friday morning.

According to a Hinesville Police Department detective, the burglary took place sometime after midnight at the Kay’s Jewelry store located on the 800 block of West Oglethorpe Highway.

Officers responded to a call of an alarm going off at the store. When officers arrived on scene, they walked around the business and looked inside through the plate glass windows and saw nothing amiss.

The responding officer notified 911 to have the manager of the store come in and reset the alarm and to inspect the store. The manager was on vacation at the time and wasn’t notified by the alarm company. It wasn’t until Friday around 10 a.m. when employees arrived, they discovered a hole in the roof and the safe broken into. The detective said the content of the safe was emptied out.

Police are now working with other law enforcement agencies, who have seen similar incidents at jewelry stores. One in Roswell, Ga. in January, and another in Collierville, Tenn. in February.

“Walked away with 100 years of work, sweat, labor,” Mike Hammer said.

Hammer, the owner of Hammer Jewelers in Tennessee, said suspects cut a hole through the roof of the restaurant next to his jewelry shop, then broke through the wall - getting into his store and stealing a significant amount of jewelry.

The FBI is now working on his case, and he said investigators believe it’s an organized group making their way across the country.

“They hit hundreds and hundreds of jewelry stores and hit wealthy homes because they want diamonds and gold,” Hammer said.

Back in Hinesville, one resident said it’s a storyline straight out of a movie.

“I didn’t think something like that could happen. That’s some movie stuff. Ocean’s Eleven type stuff,” Hinesville resident Julian Taylor said.

The criminal investigation is looking into similar cases which may have occurred in local jurisdictions and neighboring states. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Hinesville Police Department at 912-876-8211.

*The Coastal News Service contributed to this report.

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