Burglars hit Bigham Jewelers in Naples in "major breach"

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 08:57:33-04

A brazen smash-and-grab burglary early Thursday morning left employees picking up the pieces at Bigham Jewelers on U.S. 41 in Naples.

A report from the Naples Police Department said that the thieves broke broke through the glass doors around 3 a.m., then smashed and emptied most of the jewelry display cases inside the store. 

The store's security company notified police that the alarms at the store were breached, but the burglars were gone by the time police arrived.

"It was apparently a very well-planned operation that executed very rapidly, within minutes," said Ursula Pfahl of Bigham Jewelers. "It was a major breach."

Pfahl said employees were still trying to tally how much was stolen. The store was closed Thursday while crews from ServPro cleaned up shattered glass. 

Captain John Barkley of the Naples Police Department said due to the speed with which the crime was carried out and how many items were stolen, the burglars were organized and had probably done it before.

"Normally they're in and they're out," Barkley said. "They know what they're going for. They're not wasting time...they're not picking the locks."

He said the store uses a sophisticated video surveillance system, which they were still analyzing. Police are also checking surveillance video from surrounding businesses, to see if they are able to determine the getaway vehicle the burglars used.