Local News

Jewelry Store Owner's Lifelong Work Gone After Burglary

Posted December 15, 2006 10:25 p.m. EST
Updated December 16, 2006 12:52 a.m. EST

— A Raleigh small-business owner said Friday that someone stole everything he owned overnight Thursday when his jewelry store was burglarized.

Police say thieves stole all of the valuables out of King's Jewelry Store on Capitol Boulevard. Hung Nguyen, who owns the store, said thieves cut a hole in the ceiling of the story and apparently squeezed their way inside.

"My wife and I have been working for over 25 years to save enough money for our retirement, and right now, look at this," he said pointing to the hole.

Nguyen said he had a security alarm system, but it never sounded because the thieves cut the phone lines before they broke in. The store also had a surveillance camera, but it was also stolen.

The person or people responsible cut through the dry wall in a back office to get to Nguyen’s safe. Police believe they used a blow torch to get through four layers of steel and a layer of concrete.

"Everything I own was in the safe. I put it in there at night," Nguyen said.

Nguyen had just stocked up for the holidays. Police estimate the thieves stole about $400,000 worth of jewels, a computer and a digital camera.

Nguyen, however, found an electronic copy of his backup inventory list inside a desk drawer.

"I'm very grateful, because this is all my store -- all the information about my store," Nguyen said of the drive.

He said he plans to meet with his insurance agent Monday in hopes of recovering what he and his wife have lost.

Raleigh police ask that anyone with any information about the burglary to contact investigators at 919-89-3335.

"If anyone was anywhere in that area and saw any vehicles or people moving around at any time … we'd like to know about it," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.