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The suspect reportedly drove this car through the shopping centre before ramming into the Michael HIll jewellery store. Source: ABC News/Twitter
The suspect reportedly drove this car through the shopping centre before ramming into the Michael HIll jewellery store. Source: ABC News/Twitter

Jewellery ‘ram raids’ head across country

As another arrest is made in relation to the recent jewellery store ram raids that occurred in Canberra, a similar incident has taken place in a shopping centre in Perth.

Police confirmed to Jeweller that the Michael Hill retail outlet at Cockburn Gateway Shopping City was robbed yesterday, Monday 20 April, at 2:30am.

In a similar fashion to the Canberra ram raids, the Perth robbery involved a man driving a car through the shopping centre’s bollards and doors before ramming into the jewellery store.

The thief allegedly smashed the outlet’s glass panels and stole several items of jewellery – the value of which is still to be determined. Police are currently searching for the offender who left on foot after the vehicle became stuck inside the centre.

Michael Hill International declined to comment while investigations were underway.

The offender allegedly entered the shopping centre by driving through the doors. Source: Seven News
The offender allegedly entered the shopping centre by driving through the doors. Source: Seven News

Meanwhile, another arrest has been made in relation to the ram raids that took place at Canberra-based Exquisite Jewellers and Diamond Ring Designs, located at Kippax Fair and Gungahlin Village respectively.

An 18-year-old man was charged on Friday 17 April with more than 20 offences relating to multiple burglaries, including those taking place at the two jewellery stores.

As previously reported by Jeweller, both jewellery businesses were robbed last month within one day of each other. The thefts received considerable media coverage, which was arguably due to the brazen nature of the thieves who allegedly used stolen cars to break into the shopping centres, before ramming the vehicles into the front facades of the stores.   

Although captured on CCTV footage, the offenders were not readily identifiable and at this stage it’s believed the 18-year-old wasn’t one of the suspects that entered the jewellery premises. The offender was, however, caught on CCTV leaving the scenes of the indicants in another car. He will reportedly apply for bail later this week.

A 20-year-old man was also charged for his participation in the Diamond Ring Designs robbery and has been remanded in custody until Friday 24 April.

Drawing links

It is believed the 18-year-old was also involved in the robbery of Yass Jewellers, located about 45 minutes from Canberra.

Yass Jewellers owner Pam Helson explained the thieves broke into the premises by smashing the front window and proceeded to steal a large quantity of sterling silver and gold-plated jewellery. She added the break-and-enter, which occurred at 2:30am on Friday 10 April, resulted in a total value of about $15,000 in damage and stolen goods.

While investigations regarding the incident were ongoing, Helson indicated that the offender would face charges under the NSW jurisdiction after legal proceedings had been finalised in the ACT. CCTV footage also showed two other people at the scene.

Furthermore, an ACT Policing spokesperson confirmed there were “strong links between offences committed in the ACT and the surrounding regions, including Yass”. The spokesperson added, “While we cannot provide detailed information about ongoing investigations, please be reassured that we are making every effort to bring those involved in all of these matters before the court.”

Thieves broke into Yass Jewellers by smashing the front window
Thieves broke into Yass Jewellers by smashing the front window
Large amounts of silver jewellery was taken from the Yass store
Large amounts of silver jewellery was taken from the Yass store

Lessons for jewellers

Helson said one of the most important lessons taken from the theft was the importance of prolonging the time for someone to break into a store.

“The biggest thing with a jewellery store, or any business really, is that if they’re [thieves] determined to get in, they’ll get in,” she explained. “You’ve just got to make it difficult for them. Make sure that they’re there for a longer period of time before they get in. They have caused enough damage to our store but it could have been much worse.”

Tony Peters, owner of Exquisite Jewellers, told Jeweller that the burglary at his store on 30 March resulted in about $15,000 in damage and loss of stock valued at about $8,000.

While his business re-opened the day after the theft, Peters said he had possibly lost another $10,000 in trade due to the fact his front window display was still not “up and running”.    

He confirmed he had been robbed three times in the past 11 months, and actively set out to improve his security following the second theft. 

“After the second broken window I installed a roller shutter security screen – it’s still not enough but there’s nothing else I can do,” he explained, adding he planned to approach the ACT Government about installing additional security measures at the shopping complex.

Meanwhile, Allan Russell of Diamond Ring Designs explained that his business was closed for three weeks following the theft on 31 March, and that $30,000 in goods – primarily gold and diamond jewellery – was stolen. He added that the store was holding a “ram-raid sale” later this week in order to boost cash flow.

More reading
Jewellery stolen in ‘ram-raid’ burglaries
$100k jewellery stolen in carpark attack
Thieves target jewellers in same street
Armed thieves target ‘high street’ jewellers
Terrifying, armed attack on jewellery store











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Wednesday, 24 July, 2019 08:05am
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