It only took one man less than four minutes to make off with more than $100,000 in stolen jewelry during a break-in at The Bay in Woodgrove Centre early Tuesday.
The break-in happened shortly after midnight, triggering multiple alarms.
Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the thief broke in through the store’s south Aulds Road entrance and ran down to the jewelry department on the main floor.
“We responded and found the doors pried and smashed open,” O’Brien said. “Then we went into The Bay where we found multiple glass jewelry cabinets smashed open and dozens of pieces of jewelry, including rings, earrings and necklaces gone.”
Woodgrove Centre surveillance video showed a man, wearing a gray hoodie, light-coloured sneakers and carrying a pry bar, entering the front door. The suspect fled the building the way he entered.
“He runs in and about four minutes later he’s out,” O’Brien said.
Police canvassed the area where witnesses reported seeing a green Nissan Quest minivan near the mall earlier in the evening that is now considered a vehicle of interest in the case.
For evidence and security reasons police will not say what name brands of items were taken or their estimated total value other than it is well in excess of $100,000.
“It’s very expensive, high-end jewelry,” O’Brien said. “There’s a number of different brands we’re looking at and dozens of pieces of jewelry taken.”
O’Brien said Woodgrove Centre security or any custodial staff who might have been on duty were unaware the robbery had occurred.
“So at this point we’re inventorying the items taken and working with security at The Bay,” O’Brien said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.