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Two masked thieves smashed into a supplier's car and stole $50,000 in silver jewellery
Two masked thieves smashed into a supplier's car and stole $50,000 in silver jewellery
 









Jewellery supplier attacked after appointment

The number of jewellery-related thefts continues to grow, with news that a supplier has been targeted in an armed robbery following an appointment with a retailer.

The attack occurred in Melbourne, Victoria on Wednesday 7 October after Geneva Caldwell, creative director of Ichu Jewellery, met with Renato Jewellers for a pre-arranged sales meeting. She was carrying two suitcases containing silver jewellery at the time.

In an unusual situation, the robbery took place in her home driveway. Caldwell told Jeweller that when she arrived home from the appointment at around 3:40pm, she noticed two masked men running towards her car in the rear-view mirror.

Described as wearing dark clothing with hoods drawn tight around a dust mask and sunglasses, the men began smashing the windows of the car using what was believed to be a pinch bar.

Despite Caldwell’s efforts to hold one of the suitcases while sounding the car horn to call attention to the attack, the thieves escaped with both cases, estimated to contain silver jewellery with a wholesale value of $50,000.

Before the robbers were able to drive off, tradesmen who had been working nearby noted the car’s licence plate number. Caldwell’s father, who founded Ichu Jewellery with his wife and daughter in 2009, also witnessed the incident.

Car pursuit

Police believe the men followed Caldwell 12 km from her appointment in the city to her home, and reportedly have CCTV footage of the suspects lingering near the retail store.

Media reports also indicated that the car was a grey Mitsubishi Lancer and that a third offender – a getaway driver – was involved, although police were not able to confirm this information when questioned by Jeweller.

Caldwell suggested the fact that Renato Jewellers specialised predominantly in diamonds could be the reason she had been targeted.

“They’re [Renato Jewellers] trying to split their store and branch out into high-end sterling silver as well, which is why I was visiting the store,” she explained. “The police believe the suspects were staking out the store, saw someone enter with suitcases and assumed they were full of diamonds.”

Although uninjured, Caldwell was shaken by the attack. “I'll definitely be more aware now,” she said.

She added a warning for others working in the industry: “Don’t just assume you’ll be safe once you’re in your car or once you’re at home – not until you’re behind closed doors with security or somebody else. But at the end of the day, I feel if there was someone in the car with me yesterday, it still would have happened.”

The incident echoes a similar robbery that recently occurred in South Yarra, Victoria. On 14 July, once again in daylight, two masked thieves stole $700,000 in diamond and gold jewellery by smashing the windows of a car. Two jewellery salesmen – who had just returned from an appointment with a retailer – were seated inside with two backpacks full of stock at the time.

A police spokesperson said no connection had been established between the two cases and that they were both still under investigation.

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Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 03:17pm
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