MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a brazen move during business hours at a well-known jewelry store in Mystic.
Police say a man swiped a nearly $20,000 antique ring, and another woman helped distract workers. Employees say the woman seen in the middle of the store tried to sell them a ring. The man in the green shirt came afterward and asked to see some big ticket items. And in a matter of four minutes, police say these two did nearly $20,000 worth of damage at Mystic’s N-L Shaw and Company.
Mystic Tourist Barbara Schneider said, “It’s a lovely town. You wouldn’t think of something like that happening.”
Patty Besen, a tourist, added, “I can’t believe they were able to get away with it.”
Russ Kramer, an artist, said “Wow, that’s unbelievable. That’s too bad.” Kramer knows. He sells his artwork next door and feels for the owner. “She sells beautiful jewelry and she’s very well-known in the community and it’s really a shame. It’s really unusual for Mystic,” he said.
Groton police say this man and woman came in separately, but appeared to be working together. The video shows she came in first. Employees say she tried to sell them a ring. He came afterward and asked to see some big ticket items.
“His demeanor didn’t match what he was trying to do,” said Groton Police Lt. John Varone. Then Varone says the man asked for something in the back.
But this worker “employed some good tactics,” Varone said. Seconds after this, Varione noted the worker put the rings away where she thought they were out of reach. Police then say he swipes an antique, nearly two-carat diamond ring with sapphires.
Tourist Arthur Schneider said, “That’s the oldest trick in the book: just grab.”
It might seem like an old move, but still a painful one. Especially for a small business owner like Kramer, who says three years ago it happened to him. Someone grabbed one of his small paintings right off the wall. “It really made me a little more vigilant about who comes in and whether I’m attentive while they’re there,” Kramer said.
According to police, the male thief is described as Middle Eastern-looking and in his mid-30s, wearing a green short-sleeved button-down shirt and jeans. Entering the store immediately before the suspect was a woman who was described as tall, Asian-Pacific, and wearing a red jacket, white shirt and jeans.
If anyone recognizes either suspect, please contact the Groton Police Department at 860-441-6712.