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Local Jewelers Increasing Security As Police Search For Robbers

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DURHAM, N.C. — Jewelry stores in the Triangle are taking notice and extra precautions as investigators continue their search for suspects in three jewelry store robberies over the past two weeks.

Jewelry store manager Jerry Young said he is not taking any chances with the thousands of dollars of merchandise at Bailey's Fine Jewelers, where high-dollar diamonds and other costly trinkets line display cases.

"We've got a vault here that probably surpasses some banks in town, pull-down gates at night and we've got a full-time armed guard," Young said.

Young is now looking to decide whether more safeguards are needed to protect the store.

"This is a wakeup call for everybody in the jewelry business," he said.

Many other jewelry store owners in the area said they have increased security over the last week.

In the last two weeks, three stores have been hit: first, Perry Brothers Jewelers, then Ora Designers Fine Jewelers. Over the weekend, a thief drove his pickup truck through the front doors and up to the jewelry counter at Costco in Durham ( ).

Police said the robbers left little in their wake but empty displays and shattered glass.

"We're trying to be very aggressive in our approach," Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

Investigators in Wake County and Durham believe the Raleigh robberies may be related, but say there are more differences than similarities in the Durham case.

They said, however, that the suspects are considered dangerous. With the Raleigh cases, investigators said store employees were handcuffed during the robberies.

On Friday, the Raleigh Police Department released a composite of one suspect. They described the suspects as well-organized and bold.


Don Ingle

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