CRIME

Police: Thieves execute 'sophisticated' jewelry store heist in Oxon Hill

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Prince George's County Police are releasing video and photos from a jewelry heist a detective says is the most sophisticated he's ever seen.

This photo shows the hole in the roof that the burglars used to lower their tools through. Photo: YouTube screenshot

It happened in May at the Rivertowne Jewelers store, which is in the Rivertowne Commons shopping center in Oxon Hill.

Police say early in the morning on May 4, at least three crooks cut a hole in the roof of the store in a spot that they had previously marked with an X.

Surveillance video shows them descending into a small back room of the jewelry store. They also lower bags and tools.

Then, in a process that took nearly two hours, police say the crooks used tools and a blowtorch to break through thick concrete and steel and into the store's safe.

Police say the criminals stole $500,000 worth of jewelry, then left the same way they came -- through the roof.

"This was something that you see in the movies," said Prince George's County detective David Gross. "They don't appear to be nervous. They seem to be very planned, very organized."

Gross says the men knew exactly which wires they had to cut to make sure the store's alarm didn't go off.

In the video they are dressed in black and wear masks and gloves.

"They're not leaving their DNA or their latent fingerprints behind, so it creates a big challenge for us to try to investigate this," Gross said.

Even though you can't recognize the thieves' faces in the newly released video, police hope someone will have information about who may be capable of such a heist.

Gross says it's possible the crooks came from outside the area. He believes this isn't the first time they've done this, and he thinks they spent a lot of time casing the store and planning the heist before carrying it out.

The brother of the jewelry store's owner says the heist has been devastating financially and emotionally. He says his family is still battling to get insurance money.

"They took 25 years to get their business going, and they were wiped out in a matter of two hours," Gross said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George's County Police at 1-866-411-TIPS.

Video: Prince George's County Police Department

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