Robbers hit two Goldsmith Jewelers locations

MERCED, Calif.

The surveillance video from a neighboring business shows the thieves backing a car right through the front of the /*Goldsmith Jewelers*/ store in Merced. It happened at 3:43 Wednesday morning.

The gang of robbers are in and out in about a minute, fleeing with handfuls of jewelry. Police were on the scene within minutes, but the robbers were long gone.

It took a repair crew most of the day to replace the windows and fix the damage. And, it was the same scene at the Goldsmith Jewelers shop a few miles away in Atwater. This shop had actually been hit about an hour earlier than the Merced store. In the same way, with a car through the front of the store.

Lt. Bimley West said, "They just took an opportunity to steal items and I'm sure they are going to try to sell it."

This is the second time the Goldsmiths store in Merced has been robbed in recent weeks. Last time thieves came in during the day, smashing display cases with hammers. The owner did not want to talk about the thefts.

Jewelry stores may seem an attractive target because they are full of valuables, but police say any type of business can be a target these days.

Lt. Bimley West said, "I think this is a bad time, not only for jewelry stores but this is a bad time for anyone, whether someone walking the street, or fast food stores that have recently been robbed as well as any commercial businesses."

The thieves are likely to only get a fraction of the actual value of the jewelry taken from both stores, but with gold at 16 hundred dollars an ounce, there's a big market for the metal alone.

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