Couple reeling after Cambridge jewellery heist

Cambridge store 'ransacked' by jewel thieves

JEREMY SMITH
Last updated 14:06 15/04/2014
Cambridge Jewellers
JEREMY SMITH/Fairfax NZ

PICKING UP THE PIECES: Cambridge Jewellers owners Andrew and Katrina Haultain, have been cleaning up the mess after $100,000 worth of jewellery was stolen from the shop in the early hours of Saturday morning.

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Just hours before the royal couple drove past the shop's doors, thieves made off with about $100,000 worth of jewellery from Cambridge Jewellers.

Diamond rings and jewels were targeted in a brazen snatch-and-grab at the Victoria St business, which happened around 2.40am on Saturday.

The theft was  just a few hundred metres from where Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge  strolled past an enthusiastic crowd later that day.

The rapturous welcome for the royals as they drove past was in stark contrast to the feelings of store-owners Andrew and Katrina Haultain who have been left reeling by the raid.

Andrew Haultain said the incident had rocked them. He thinks the thieves knew what they were doing, given the items they specifically targeted.

The shop has been closed since Saturday while the couple, who have owned and run it since 2012, and  staff clean up.

''I think they may have scoped out the shop first, but we didn't see any suspicious people in store last week,'' Andrew Haultain said.  

He admitted to the theft being a ''big knock'', but said they were adamant it would not put them out of business.

He said while they were insured for most of what was taken, they wouldn't be covered for everything.

The couple were alerted to the theft when the security company called to  report ''multiple sensors'' being triggered in store.

''I think the word ransacked was used,'' he said. ''So, when I came into the store for the first time and saw the extent of what they had done it was the most horrible feeling you can ever imagine. They had just cleaned us out.''

The watches taken included Tissot and Seiko brands along with Pandora jewellery.

He was keen to stress that ''every piece'' of customers' valuable items were accounted for.

''They are the first things to go in the safe every night.''

 Their hope is to be open for business either today or tomorrow.

The experience has prompted the Haultains to bolster security.

Acting police detective senior sergeant Shelley Begbie, of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit, said the thieves who broke into the store were selective about what they stole. 

"We're asking second hand dealers and gold buyers to check the details of people trying to off load such items."

 Begbie said police located a burnt out Mitsubishi Galant car they believed to be linked to the burglary on a rural road at Maungakawa a short time later. 

"The public can play a part in helping us identify those people responsible by reporting any suspicious behaviour in and around Cambridge prior to the burglary or if they saw a suspicious vehicle around Maungakawa.

"At the same time we want to hear from anyone offered jewellery, bracelets or watches cheaply."

She said it was important people remember by buying stolen goods they are are funding criminal enterprises and offenders often record who they have sold stolen items to.

Anyone with information on the burglars or who may have been offered items for sale should contact detective Nadine Stewart of the Waikato Tactical Crime Unit on 858 6200. Information can be left anonymously with the independent Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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- Waikato

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