SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A high-end Santa Fe art gallery says it’s the victim of a $4 million jewelry heist and is offering a hefty reward for the return of the stolen goods.
“The appraised value of the jewelry that was lost was about $4 million,” Masterpiece Gallery Manager Jonah Payne explained. Payne said a faulty motion detector just outside his shop allowed a criminal plenty of time to take a sledgehammer to a wall of the high-end gallery near the Santa Fe Plaza around 1 a.m. on Sept. 25.
“They crawled through the hole, immediately went to the jewelry cases and immediately busted them open and stole everything,” he explained. “It was all fine jewelry: sapphires, diamonds, necklaces, earrings, rings.” Payne believes two people seen on security cameras this year could be connected to the pricey heist.
Though neither of them is seen taking the jewelry, one man in March is seen using his cell phone to record the display cases. Then, two days before the burglary, another person is seen eyeing those same two cases that were later burglarized.
In the video, KRQE News 13 has blurred their faces because police haven’t said they’re suspects. “Just the way they looked at our cameras, looked for ways into the gallery, and the way they were acting when they came in and cased the gallery,” Payne said.
In an effort to recover the jewelry, Payne is offering $20,000 for the return of the jewelry. Payne says the business has since installed a more high-tech security system.
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