Brazen burglars break into Grass Valley jewelry store (VIDEO)

A pair of brazen burglars smashed the front-door window of a downtown Grass Valley jewelry store Sunday evening, then broke into three display cases and looted more than $5,000 in gold and silver items before fleeing.

The duo were in and out in about 40 seconds, as evidenced by surveillance video from the inside of Grass Valley Gold & Silver, which is located in the 100 block of Mill Street in close proximity to the Del Oro movie theater and Gary’s Place.

But no one heard the alarm, which went off about 8:30 p.m., or noticed the broken glass until a newspaper delivery person called 911 at just before 3 a.m., said Shara Daly-Arnoldi, who owns the store with her husband, Greg Arnoldi.

The alarm is connected to two motion sensors — one at the door and one in the back of the store. But due to miscommunication with the security company, no notification went out when the alarm sounded.

“We had two business lines, and we canceled one,” Daly-Arnoldi said. “We didn’t know that was the line that connected (the alarm) to the security firm. The alarm was beeping loudly, but no one heard it.”

On the surveillance video, the two suspects could be seen casing the store about a half-hour beforehand, even trying the door handle to see if it would set the alarm off. At about 8:30 p.m., they returned, waiting until several vehicles passed by before one of them used a rock to smash the window glass and push his way inside. The two then moved quickly to the display cases, smashing them and scooping up jewelry.

The rock used by the burglar in the break-in was unusual, Daly-Arnoldi said, describing it as palm-sized and about an inch thick, of rounded translucent quartz-like material.

“I’m surprised there was no blood” given the amount of glass that was broken, she said.

Daly-Arnoldi noted the burglars didn’t take any of the expensive gold-mining equipment in the store. She added that most of the store’s high-dollar items had been stashed in a safe, which was not looted.

Grass Valley Police officers responded to a call of a broken window at the store at about 3 a.m., said Sgt. Clint Bates.

“We are actively investigating the case and reviewing the surveillance footage,” Bates said. “We’re trying to identify the two suspects.”

Daly-Arnoldi estimated the loss to the store at more than $5,000 in gold and silver items, and that’s not including the cost of replacing the broken glass.

The store owners are thinking of getting a metal gate, although Daly-Arnoldi said she does not want to detract from the vintage look of the storefront.

“This is a historic downtown,” she said. “I don’t want to put bars on the windows. This has a Gold Rush feeling, not a Pawn Stars feeling.”

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.

“This is a historic downtown. I don’t want to put bars on the windows. This has a Gold Rush feeling, not a Pawn Stars feeling.”
Shara Daly-Arnoldi
Grass Valley Gold & Silver


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The Union Updated Apr 4, 2014 11:56AM Published Apr 15, 2014 02:10PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.