PALM DESERT, Calif. - Surveillance video shows the early morning burglary of a jewelry store at the Westfield mall in Palm Desert. The video shows a burglar dressed in all black, including something covering the head wiggles their way through a tight space in the back of "Expert Repairs," a store which sells and fixes watches, clocks and jewelry. Police say the thief gained entry through the roof. It happened at 2:30 AM on the June 3. Once the burglar wiggles in, they grab a bag and go to work. "He tried to open the safe, and he couldn't' which is at least good news," said Joseph Grzetic, the owner of the store.
After spending about forty minutes on the safe, the burglar moves on to the display cases by way of the ground. Grzetic found wood finisher all over the floor the next morning, likely used to help the burglar slide around easier. The video shows only the cloth moving on the cases as the thief takes from the cases. "If somebody would take one ring from me, I would get upset," said Grzetic. "But somebody took most of it, I'm just numb."
The creeping crook left four showcases empty, a collection of items built up during the store's six year history. "Fine 14K jewelry, a lot of men's and women's rings, necklaces, bracelets, chains," said Grzetic.
He can't say the total value of the items stolen but did say the most expensive piece cost $20,000 alone. While the financial loss stings, it's the loss of handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces that hurts the most. "I would recognize most of my jewelry right away," said Grzetic. "Most of my jewelry and it can't be replaced, because you cannot just go somewhere and buy."
Nearly two hours after sliding in, the burglar slides right out, leaving Grzetic to mull over the video and ask for help. "I would just like to put this word out, maybe somebody knows something," said Grzetic.
While the police investigate, he continues to fix and sell jewelry, vowing not to let this keep him from the job and customers he loves. "I want to prove to them that this is a secure place, not only my place, but the mall," said Grzetic. "We're going to keep serving Palm Springs, Palm Desert and the whole area."