PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Philadelphia police say an estimated $1 million worth of jewels and jewelry was stolen from a store in Lawncrest. Investigators have now released surveillance video of the incident.
Tiny spikes are meant to keep birds off the roof of the Kim Thanh jewelry store at 5520 Whitaker Ave. in Philadelphia's Lawncrest section. But nothing could keep professional burglars off that roof late Sunday night to the dismay of the store's co-owner.
"I have no words to say," said Diane Luong. "I feel so sad about it."
Philadelphia police believe it was just before midnight Sunday when the crooks used a ladder behind the shopping center to get to the rooftop, then smashed through the roof and dropped into the dessert cafe next to the jeweler. From there, they broke through the drywall and entered the jewelry store, smashed open the safe and made off with an estimated $1 million in jewels and jewelry.
Police say the security alarm was tripped but neither the alarm company not Luong's husband notified law enforcement until he arrived at the store Monday morning.
"He sent a family member over," said Lt. Dennis Tosenbaum of Northeast Detectives. "And he drove over to check on the place and it seemed secure so they thought something was wrong with the alarm system."
The alarm was no doubt tripped when the burglars cut the lines to the security system that put a slew of businesses in the shopping center on ice.
"Can't do business right now with no phone, no Internet," said Tim Tran, who runs an immigration assistance office a few doors away.
Almost exactly 2 months ago--January 22-- burglars hit Kim Thanh by breaking through a concrete wall out back wall and making off with jewelry. In response, the owners fortified that wall with a metal plate.
This time, the crooks simply moved their act to the rooftop.
"The brazenness of this crime, a repeat crime, in one month," said Thanh NGO. "It's just very alarming."
Diane Luong told police she and her husband moved their jewelry store here from Adams Avenue about a year ago because it seemed quieter, safer. Now they've been targeted twice by professional burglars.
She told FOX 29's Bruce Gordon she feels like crawling up in a ball, but instead, will soldier on.
"I have to stand up because my life is here."