Jewel thieves hit two downtown Port Angeles stores
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Jeremy Schwartz/Peninsula Daily News
Angeles Pawn owner Ron Diimmel points to plywood that covers a door through which burglaries entered the store Oct. 1.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles police are tracking down leads in two commercial burglaries along First Street in Port Angeles that investigators say may have been perpetrated by the same two people.

Both burglaries were in the earlymorning hours of two consecutive Mondays — the first at Angeles Pawn, 619 E. First St., on Oct. 1 and the second at Fountain Square Jewelers, 101 W. First St., this past Monday.

Some $5,000 worth of rings were stolen at Angeles Pawn.

In addition, a large amount of jewelry, mostly consisting of men's watches, was taken from Fountain Square, with police estimating its value at several thousand dollars.

Police have no firm evidence linking the two burglaries, but based on their similarities, officers are investigating them as related incidents, said Deputy Police Chief Brian Smith.

“We'll draw more conclusions as we get more evidence,” Smith said.

After viewing surveillance tapes at Angeles Pawn, police said that the taller of the two was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a red bandanna used as a face mask, dark blue gloves, black pants and dark shoes.

A shorter burglar was wearing a red-and-white plaid hooded sweatshirt.

The shorter person also wore a face mask, along with a white T-shirt, light blue gloves, gray sweatpants and white shoes, police said.

Burglars triggered the alarm at Angeles Pawn at about 2:35 a.m., when they broke the glass of the front door with a hatchet, police said.

Ron Diimmel, owner of the shop, said he got to the store about 10 minutes after his alarm company called him and found Port Angeles police officers already there.

Diimmel said the $5,000 worth of rings, all belonging to the pawn shop, were taken from a jewelry case near the door.

After reviewing the tapes, Diimmel and investigators found that the two burglars smashed the case with the same hammer-sized hatchet they'd used on the door.

The two were in the store for less than 20 seconds, police said.

Diimmel said the pair “knew what they were doing.”

“They evidently had cased the place [before Oct. 1].”

Diimmel said in addition to stealing the rings, the two did about $300 worth of damage to the door and glass cases.

The Fountain Square Jewelers burglary took place at about 4:35 a.m. this past Monday, police said.

Entrance was apparently gained by breaking a large, plate-glass window on the east side of the store, police said.

Several jewelry cases were broken with what police suspect was a pick hammer, and several thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry reportedly taken.

An older model Chevrolet single cab pickup, possibly built in the 1970s, with a canopy was seen leaving the area shortly after the burglary, police said.

Police are reviewing video surveillance and physical evidence from both incidents.

They encourage anyone with information on the burglaries to call the Port Angeles Police Department at 360-452-4545 or North Olympic Crime Stoppers, where an anonymous tip can be left, at 1-800-222-8477.



Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 09. 2012 5:55PM
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