NAPLES, Fla - An elaborate heist at a local mall allows crooks to get away with tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. Police say they used metal cutters, rope and tricky tactics to get in and out of the Coastland Center Mall.
"It's not very common to see a burglary like that in Naples," says Lt. John Barkley. "It does happen, but it's not very common."
Littman Jewelers was the target of a "movie-like" burglary early Tuesday morning.
Crooks got away with $60,000 in watches, rings and more without going in or out of any doors.
What we know is that somehow the thieves were able to make their way onto the top of the mall roof. They cut a hole directly above the store. Investigators say it was 18 inches by 36 inches long and in order to cut through the roof, they used metal cutters.
Lt. Barkley says, "there was some scaffolding, some beams they were able to climb down on that support the roof."
Investigators say an alarm went off, but it was used as a decoy. "It appears they set the alarm off on purpose to have the security officer go and look at it, probably more than once to check it so they'd think it was a false alarm," says Lt. Barkley.
Once the guard was gone, the crooks made their way inside Littman's. Police say, possibly using a rope to lower themselves down, they kicked out a tile in the ceiling and smashed two glass cases which are now covered with a black sheet.
"We're still looking for the suspects. We're pretty sure there is more than one involved because of the amount of stuff they took and the tools that they were using to get in," says Lt. Barkley.
Police think this crime is connected to a traffic stop on I 75 early Tuesday morning. The stop lead to an all day search after suspects fled the vehicle when it they were pulled over. Collier County Sheriff's Office Deputies recovered the jewelry from that car.
Anyone with information is asked to call Naples Police at 239-213-4890.