Tuesday, April 4th 2017, 12:28 pm HST
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A recent string of jewelry heists have Oahu shopkeepers on edge.
At least five crimes occurred in the last five weeks.
On March 11, the owner of Things & Blings, who didn't want to be identified, said two men zip-tied her hands as they ransacked her King Street shop. In less than three minutes, the suspects fled with about $25,000 worth of jewelry.
The owner said one of the suspects looked like one of the men who hit Pacific Diamond Wedding Rings on Saturday.
Two men used a pick axe to smash display cases at the Waimalu store.
And back on Feb. 24, the owners of Diamond Fairy inside Pearlridge Center said a man wearing dark-colored clothing took off with gold chains in a brazen daytime smash-and-grab.
Just after midnight on March 8, two men plowed a pickup truck through Zales jewelry store in Waikele and at Robert Palma's shop inside the Century Center building, crooks tried boring through the wall on March 11th.
"They knew exactly where my alarm system was and they cut wires in the stair well," said Robert Palma. "These people are organized without a doubt. I don't think it's random people doing these acts. It's a very sophisticated, organized gang."
Police haven't released any information but the five crimes have similarities: Three happened during midday. Three involved getaway vehicles that were later found abandoned. At least four of the crimes involved multiple men and in all five instances, no one was hurt.
Still, retailers are afraid.
"This is causing severe concern among our members, everyone is very nervous," said Tom Wheeler, President of Hawaii Jewelers Association. The nonprofit organization represents about 70 companies.
"We're having an FBI agent who specializes in jewelry security come in from the mainland to address our group soon," Wheeler said.
For now, employees are taking their own safety precautions and going to work everyday with a new sense of urgency.
"My plea to the police officers investigating this, is to please make this a priority before someone gets hurt," Palma said.
No arrests have been made.
If you have any information, call CrimeStoppers with your tips at 808-955-8300.
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