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Blue Light Special? Jewelry Heists at 2 Kmarts

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A burglar seems to be choosing an unusual target for a jewelry heist. Two Kmarts have been hit, and one suspect was caught on camera.

The burglaries have happened in the middle of the night and they happened very quickly. The latest was a week ago at the Kmart on Shaw and Cole, across from the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis.

Police believe the burglar came running through an alley just as officers responded to an alarm at the store. The officers never saw him, but his getaway was not completely clean.

Just before breaking into the Clovis Kmart, this man passed in front of the surveillance camera at an adjacent store. The duffle bag or suitcase you see in his hand would soon be filled with thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry.

"Necklaces, rings, earrings, pretty much anything you would see in the Kmart jewelry display," said Clovis Police Detective Jim Munro.

Munro gathered a few clues from the video, like the Mossimo brand name on the back of the suspect's hoodie, but getting a full description is difficult. One thing Munro knows for sure, though, is the suspect knew how to make his way around the store very quickly.

"Actually it was less than two minutes," the detective said. "So [he] broke the window, break the glass cases, grab everything he could in a bag, out the same way and then took off running."

Surveillance video shows the suspect making his escape at high speed, carrying a bag now filled with stolen jewelry. And this may not have been his first heist.

53 miles away and a month earlier, a burglar also hit a Kmart in Tulare, stealing another load of jewelry. Although police are not connecting the two cases just yet, the description of the man who hit the Tulare Kmart and the man you see in that video from Clovis are very similar.

At both stores, an alarm went off and police responded within minutes. But in both cases, they were barely too late, leaving this video as their best chance at solving the crimes.

Investigators checked the alley way for clues as well, but haven't turned up anything. There is a neighborhood just a little east of us here, though, and they're hoping someone there might have seen something worth reporting to the police.

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Tags:
crimetracker, burglary, clovis, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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