More than $1 million stolen from jewelry store in 42 seconds

It took 42 seconds for a gang of masked robbers to storm a Deerfield Beach, Fla., jewelry store, smash display cases with an ax and two sledgehammers and escape with more than $1 million in watches and jewelry, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

The men entered East Coast Jewelers, 3379 W. Hillsboro Blvd., June 28 behind a family that had been buzzed through the locked door just after 12:30 p.m., the newspaper reports. The robbers showed no weapons.

“It was obviously well-planned and well-executed,” Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jim Leljedal reportedly said, who was not aware of any similar robberies in recent months.

Michael Yampolsky, president of East Coast Jewelers, reportedly said the store’s video cameras showed the robbers to have been in and out in 42 seconds. The video showed between six and eight men wearing ski masks, gloves and bulky clothing spreading out and smashing specific cases. They used an ax and two sledgehammers to smash cases containing diamond rings, earrings, necklaces and watches. The stolen watches included Rolexes and part of a Swiss Vacheron Constantin set worth about $700,000, Yampolsky reportedly said.

“They went right to the good stuff,” Yampolsky reportedly said, noting that the men escaped in two dark-colored Nissan Maximas. “The alarm was pushed … and the cops were there in one minute, and [the robbers] were gone.”

Besides knowing which cases held the store’s most valuable items, the robbers also executed their heist on a Saturday when six employees were in the store, as opposed to the 20 who work there during weekdays, Yampolsky told the newspaper.

Leljedal reportedly said the most likely way the robbers would be caught would be when they sell or give away the merchandise.

Leljedal told the newspaper that the stolen merchandise is worth between $1 million and $2 million. No arrests have been made, and East Coast Jewelry is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the thieves. Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward. Anyone with information was asked to call the Broward Sheriff’s Office at 954-765-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.