Police investigating rash of jewelry store smash-and-grab robberies in New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, June 12, 2023
Police investigating rash of jewelry store burglaries in NJ
Police investigating rash of jewelry store burglaries in NJ

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Police in Maplewood, Scotch Plains and Union are investigating a string of smash and grab burglaries that have impacted jewelry stores in New Jersey.

The thieves ripped off about a dozen jewelry stores in these areas in just the past two weekends, with the most recent occurring Monday morning.

At around 3:58 a.m., police responded to a call from an alarm company about multiple motion activations inside Union Jewelers Exchange on Route 22 in Union.

Surveillance footage captured the thieves forcibly entering the front door, using a tire iron and a sledgehammer.

They made out with thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry.

Upon arrival, officers spotted a white Jeep Cherokee exiting the parking lot.

Officers attempted to pursue the vehicle, but eventually lost sight of it.

"We had officers across the street at the time, and they got there within minutes," said Union Police Department Chief Scott Breslow. "Then (they) chased the Jeep to Newark and then followed up on the license plate number, went to the house of a person whose license plate was missing."

The only trace the thieves had left behind was gold all over the parking lot, according to police.

"They were apparently divvying up the proceeds of the night," said Breslow.

At about 4:14 a.m., a similar incident took place at Trimarco Jewelers in Maplewood, where police responded to an alarm activation only to discover the front door windows were damaged.

The suspects made off with an underdetermined amount of gold jewelry.

According to Union Police Deputy Chief Scott Breslow, a dozen jewelry stores in the area have been targeted in similar instances, dating back to June 2nd.

Among the mentioned, these other recent locations include Linden, Woodbridge, Middletown, Eatontown, Green Brook, Hainesport, Robbinsville, Long Branch, and Westfield.

The latter was hit June 2nd in similar fashion, featuring multiple suspects damaging the front door of the property before entering and making off with numerous items.

Just as the recent cases, most of these prior incidents occurred overnight with similar Jeeps.

Chief Breslow believes the Jeep identified in the surveillance video was stolen, along with the license plate.

No arrests have been made.

An investigation is ongoing.


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