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Smash and Grab Jewelry Heist at Memphis Mall Valued at $700 Thousand Loss

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reeds_jewelers-300x185By Daphne R

Thieves in Memphis, Tennessee entered a mall on a mission to take Rolex Watches. A little after 7:30 pm on Saturday, January 18, five men wearing all black hoodies and black pants reportedly targeted Reed’s Jewelers, inside the Wolfchase Mall, in Memphis, bearing sledgehammers and guns, according to witnesses. The thieves used their sledgehammers to smash the glass display cases and grabbed about 65 Rolex watches, stuffing them into pillowcases.

The Rolex watches are valued at $11,000 each.

Since employees of the jewelry store ran to the back of the store to hide and had no interaction with the thieves, police may be forced to treat the incident as a theft, rather than aggravated robbery.

The men stormed into the jewelry store situated on the second floor of the mall near Sears, sending mall shopper and store employees scurrying to safety. After grabbing in excess of $700 thousand in Rolex watches, the thieves left the mall through exit doors located near the jewelry store. No injuries were reported during the theft.

Police received numerous calls from people hiding in the mall to report the theft. Eyewitnesses reported to police that the men had guns, as well as, hammers but upon review of surveillance videos, police determined that hammers were the only weapons the thieves carried.

Police believe the sound of gunshots reported by patrons of the malls was actually the sound of the breaking glass.

One customer said, “All we heard was screams and saw people running and we really couldn’t find out anything we didn’t know what was going on.”

Stores throughout the mall locked their employees and customers inside the stores as a safety measure, although mall security says the mall was never placed on an actual  lockdown.

Another customer told WREG news, ”I went to try to go to the food court and I said did something happen and they said yes ma’am something happened they weren’t letting anybody in.”

According to eyewitnesses the whole incident and chaos lasted only about 15 minutes.

Police are now looking for a gray van and a red sedan. There were three men in one vehicle and two drove off in the other vehicle.

An almost identical robbery occurred in Atlanta, Georgia last June at Lenox Square mall. In that incident, thieves stole 17 Rolex watches.

Source: WREG and CNN

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Daphne R is an experienced marketing and communications professional that provides social commentary, self-help, tips, and reports news of events that matter to African Americans.

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