Cops search for Aspen jewelry thieves |

Cops search for Aspen jewelry thieves

Joel Stonington
Aspen Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Courtesy Aspen Police DepartmentOne of two photos of the alleged jewelry thiefs, released by Aspen police on Thursday.

ASPEN ” Police have sent pictures of alleged jewelry thieves to law enforcement agencies statewide following a theft of more than $500,000 in jewels Tuesday.

A group of five people were caught on camera during the alleged heist at Buccellati, an East Hopkins Avenue store. Still images from the camera are being circulated.

Aspen police officer Jim Crowley said the group has also stolen high-value items in Breckenridge and Vail, where officers have been put on notice of the latest thefts.

Crowley said the five people stole more than $100,000 worth of items from McHugh Antiques on Dec. 1 and also hit Meridian, a different jewelry store, in 2006.

“Three come in first and draw the clerk into a back corner of the store,” Crowley said. “Then two others come in and steal the jewelry. In two cases they wave to the clerk, which is actually a signal to the others that they got the jewelry. Then out the door they go.”

The images also aired on television Thursday night, publicity that Crowley hopes will provide some leads.

“At least one person from every police department in the state has this,” Crowley said. “We’ve notified the places they’ve been before. It’s not really all that complicated. It’s the same kind of scam that’s been running for years. Draw the clerk away from what you want and go take it.”

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