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Video shows thieves making off with $3 million in jewels from downtown L.A. store

March 3, 2011 |  7:15 am

The Los Angeles Police Department released images of two masked thieves who bored a tunnel into a downtown Los Angeles jewelry store and made off with an estimated $3 million in jewelry.

The break-in took place between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Broadway Gold Center at 601 S. Broadway, officials said. The burglars, who wore masks and gloves and carried backpacks, tunneled into the store and cleaned out display cases of high-quality jewelry, according to LAPD detectives.

Investigators said the burglars dug the tunnel at a key point that avoided structural obstacles, allowing them to get in and out quickly.

Sources told The Times that the thieves also appeared to have perfect timing, snatching piles of wedding bands and engagement rings that happened to be in display cases rather than in a safe.

The owners told investigators that it takes them three hours each day to bring out the jewelry from the safe and place it in display cases, and another three hours to return the pieces at end of the day. On the night of the burglary, officials said, the owners had left the merchandise in the cases to save time.

The LAPD released store video footage and still images hoping to generate new clues in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Central Area Burglary Det. Michael Mazzacano at (213) 972-1231 or after-hours at (877) 527-3247.

Planned: The thieves broke into the store on February 19

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Video/photo: Los Angeles Police Department

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