A gemologist had $200,000 worth of uninsured precious gemstones stolen from a parked car in Calgary, Canada, according to media reports.
Experts say it could be the work of South Americans gangs south of the border who have been moving across the U.S. into Canada, the Calgary Herald reports.
On Sept. 2, a man broke into the trunk of the woman’s black Toyota Prius in broad daylight and in 30 seconds made off with her belongings, including a travel case filled with hundreds of gems, the newspaper reports. The theft was captured on a nearby surveillance camera. The woman was away from her car for about 15 minutes.
Police can’t say for certain whether the car was targeted for the gems, or if an errant prowler hit the jackpot, the newspaper reports.
Jewellers Vigilance Canada Inc., a jewelry theft watchdog organization, told the newspaper that jewel heists targeting salespeople have been growing in the past few years in Alberta.
The owner of the gems, who travels from the Vancouver area to mines around the world to find, buy and process the stones, told the newspaper that the gems can be identified if thief should try to sell them in western Canada.