Jewelry thief strikes Vail outlet
December 3, 2010
VAIL, Colo. – A man swiped a gold necklace worth $32,000 and other valuables Tuesday from the window display of Lionshead Jewelers, the store’s owner said.
The theft marks the first time someone has burglarized the business in its 10 years in the village, Amad Akkad said.
“You always hear about it and read about it, but you never think you’re going to be a victim one day,” he said.
Akkad caught the crime on surveillance tape and has posted the video on YouTube, in hopes someone will recognize the thief and his co-conspirators.
“I may never recover the [jewelry] but I just want to chase them everywhere,” he said. “I want everybody to see them.”
Vail police believe the theft is unrelated to a rash of break-ins at the Dobson Ice Arena, Vendetta’s, Red Lion, Up the Creek and Axel’s.
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Akkad said the thief and a woman, both in their 50s with slight foreign accents, came into the store just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. They tried to open the jewelry cases first, but the cases were all locked, he said.
The window display case had been unlocked because the saleswoman had been in the process of rearranging it, he said. The couple stole the 18-karat gold necklace, which is encrusted with diamonds and colorful precious stones, along with a ring worth $3,000.
While the crime took place, a second couple distracted the saleswoman in the back of the store, Akkad said. He said that man and woman were in their 20s and nicely dressed.
Police are looking for the older man, who is in his mid to late 50s and stands about 5-feet-8. The suspect may be driving a green or blue Mitsubishi van, police said.
If caught, he’ll face a felony theft charge, Det. Sgt. Chris Botkins said.
Botkins said the crime doesn’t fit the profile of other recent break-ins in Vail because it happened in broad daylight.
“All the other burglaries were late at night, kind of a covert thing,” he said. “I think this is more of a shoplifting. It just happens to be a very high-priced item.”