Witnesses say four people entered Bailey's Fine Jewelry in Cameron Village Saturday posing as customers. Investigators said three of the people distracted the salespeople while one man grabbed six pieces of jewelry totaling more than $36,000 from an unlocked showcase.
Surveillance video was able to catch images of two of the suspects, a man and a woman.
"They were not concerned about the video cameras," said the store's owner, Clyde Bailey. "We have video cameras all over the store running continuously."
Bailey said that after looking at the surveillance tape it was obvious to him that the suspects were professionals who knew exactly what they were doing.
Raleigh police said the crime was no easy task. The thief used a mirror to block the salesman's view of him and then leaned over, pushed open the unlocked cabinet and reached in to grab the merchandise.
"All it takes is a second, literally, for someone to be distracted and something like this can happen," said Raleigh Police spokesman Jim Sughrue.
Bailey's has a security guard, cameras and more than a dozen employees working the showroom, but now, the store plans to take more precautions.
"As of this morning, there is a company policy that after you open a cabinet to show merchandise to a customer, you must lock the showcase after yourself, whereas beforehand we just closed the showcase," Bailey said.
In the past two months thieves have hit several jewelry stores in Dunn, Raleigh and Durham. Raleigh police do not believe Saturday's theft is related to any of them, but said it is a wake-up call for merchants.
"The fact is that every day we unlock our doors, there is the opportunity for dishonest people to come through our doors and have their own agenda, and that is obviously to leave with something they haven't paid for," Bailey said.
Investigators said that by getting the surveillance tape images out to the public, they hope it will help them catch the thieves before another robbery happens.
Anyone with information about the robbery should contact the Raleigh Police Department at
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.