$7M in jewels stolen from Fla. store

JUPITER, Fla. --

Rob Samuels was still stunned one day after finding his jewelry store wiped out of more than $7 million in jewels, including unique estate gems.

Jupiter police said Provident Jewelry on Indiantown Road was burglarized sometime between the close of business Saturday and when employees arrived to work shortly before 9 a.m. Monday.

"It's very disturbing to have been robbed and to have been robbed so completely," Samuels said.

Samuels said the thieves broke into an empty store adjacent to Provident Jewelry, went into the attic and crawled inside the jewelry store. Samuels said they went to work using a jackhammer and blowtorch.

"These guys had to be experienced because of our alarm systems and the quality of our vault," Samuels said.

Samuels said most of the jewels were locked in a bank vault, but the thieves cut through the wall next to the vault to gain access, despite motion detectors and a two-way radio alarm system that is supposed to sound if the electricity is cut.

"We didn't receive a call from our alarm company and neither did the police," Samuels said.

Security cameras are positioned outside the store and are aimed at the vault inside, but police haven't released any of the surveillance video.

"The police are really happy with what they've seen and a couple of leads they've gotten," Samuels said.

Samuels said he is working to make the store even more secure than before.

"This isn't a typical robbery," Samuels said. "I think this might be the largest (jewelry) robbery in the state of Florida. But there are people who make a living on robbing jewelers."

Samuels said the diamonds are registered, so whoever stole them will have a difficult time selling them if they are still in the country.

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