Police investigate Lincoln Park jewelry heist

February 9, 2012 8:39:11 PM PST
Chicago police are investigating a jewelry heist at a Lincoln Park store.

As much as half a million dollars worth of jewelry was stolen from Steve Quick Jeweler in the 2400 block of North Clark Thursday.

Nearly every square inch of the store is covered by an elaborate security system complete with cameras and motion detectors -- everything except a two foot wide by three foot long area in a back corner.

"He seemed to know where the motion detectors are, so he stayed against the wall," said owner Steve Quick. "If he was where you are the motion detectors would have gone off and police would've come immediately."

The thief got into the store by breaking into the sushi restaurant next door and cutting a hole through the wall. Then despite working in the confined space the suspect somehow used a saw to cut through the four inch thick back wall of the safe and reached up into the hole and grabbed whatever jewelry was within reach.

The store is still doing inventory but it may have been worth a half a million dollars.

Steve Quick's store has been robbed a number of times over the last 25 years. An armed robbery in 1996 injured an employee and netted the thief about $750,000. But this was different.

"Someone knew exactly what they were doing," Quick told ABC7. "It was a highly professional operation that did this."

Jewelry that belonged to customers -- family heirlooms, wedding and engagement rings and the like -- was locked up in a different safe. The thief got away with jewelry that belonged to the store, and for the most part the owner says that's replaceable.