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Looters Hit Jewelry Stores in Cities Across US

In one case, an estimated $100,000 in merchandise was stolen.

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Steve Quick Jeweler in Chicago
Steve Quick Jeweler in Chicago was ransacked. Hours later, a sign went up with a positive message of love.

Jewelry stores were among the businesses damaged as rioting and looting gripped cities across the U.S.

Protests have taken place in at least 30 cities following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who was being restrained by police in Minneapolis. In some cases the demonstrations escalated to vandalism, arson, looting and violence.

Police broke up a looting incident at Gold N Diamonds jewelry store in Tampa, FL, but not before an estimated $100,000 in jewelry was stolen, according to a report from WFLA-TV. The news station’s helicopter was overhead at the time, and it appeared that at least two people were arrested.

In the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, about a dozen people stormed Estate Jewelers, making off with several thousand dollars worth of jewelry early Saturday, 11Alive reports. A surveillance video shows thieves breaking the front window with bricks, then breaking display cases. The culprits have not been identified.

The Icebox jewelry boutique in Atlanta’s Buckhead was also targeted, with windows being broken, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

“They tried to loot, entered the store but couldn’t crack open our safes,” the Icebox’s Zahir Jooma was quoted saying. As a result, nothing was taken from the store.

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Looters used an electric scooter to break a window at Medallion Jewelers in Portland, OR, early Saturday, KPTV reports. They tipped over a case and took merchandise from throughout the store.

Owner Alex Talakoub and his wife were alerted by a security alarm and rushed to the store.

“Riot police were going by and that would give us some hope and relief,” but as soon as police left, looters would show up again, he said.

This was the last thing the store needed after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been tough; it has been zero business, it has been shut down and now this. I mean, it wasn’t necessary, I don’t know,” Talakoub said.

Windows were smashed at Steve Quick Jeweler in Chicago. Melissa Quick wrote on Facebook: “Sadly our messages of LOVE in the windows were not enough to stop 15+ rioters from ransacking our store overnight.”

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Hours later, the store bore a new plywood sign courtesy Melissa Quick’s sister. It proclaimed: “We still believe that love always wins.”

There were reports of jewelry store lootings in numerous other cities, including Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Miami.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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