Jewelry Stores Targeted in Fort Worth Area

Ruben Aguirre had almost expected the call from an alarm company early Friday.

Someone had smashed the plate glass door of his jewelry store and snatched about $7,500 worth of gold earrings and rings from a display case, Aguirre said.

But the most valuable pieces were locked in a safe.

"I hope that it wasn't worth their while," he said.

Aguirre's shop, Metro Custom Jewelers in the 9100 block of Grapevine Highway, was the third high-end jewelry store in Northeast Tarrant County to be targeted by burglars in a little over a month, police said.

At other jewelry stores the thief or thieves got away with more.

On Aug. 31, about $37,000 worth of earrings, necklaces and watches were taken about 5:50 a.m. from Village Jeweler in Southlake.

On Sept. 10, about $120,000 worth of watches were snatched about 6:35 a.m. from Luxor Custom Jewelers in Colleyville.

In each case someone threw a large rock through a glass door before dawn, slipped into the store, snatched jewelry or watches from display cases and sneaked away before officers were on the scene.

Now detectives in three cities are comparing notes. Police believe thieves are targeting high-end jewelry stores in Northeast Tarrant County, said officer Bill Hudgins, a spokesman for the Colleyville Police Department.

Aguirre didn't let the burglary get in the way of business. By 10 a.m. the store was open, and that afternoon workers began mending the door.

(c) 2005 Associated Press