String of jewelry robberies in Burlington may be related

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BURLINGTON, N.C.-- In a nine-day span, two jewelry stores in Burlington had items stolen, in what authorities are calling "snatch and grab" crimes.

During a "snatch and grab" crime, detectives say a robber enters a jewelry store acting like a normal customer, then asks to see a piece of jewelry. Once the clerk has the item in their hand, the criminal snatches it, then takes off.

The first "snatch and grab" incident happened on January 28 at Eden Jewelry on South Church St. in Burlington.

Jack Freeman, who owns the store, says that in his nine years of business, nearly every jewelry store in the city has been robbed.

"In my mind, that's pretty low on the scale," he says.

Nine days after the theft at Eden Jewelry, Lane Jewelry saw a similar incident around the same time of day.

"It's quick. They get you to show them a ring, and then they jerk it out of your hand and try to run out the door. It's common in the industry right now," explains William Hudson, owner of Lane Jewelers.

Hudson says no matter how much the stolen item is worth, it still cuts into the store's profit.

"It adds up to a lot of money over a period of time. We've had some significant loses from people trying to run out the store with pieces," explains Hudson.

No one was hurt in either case.

In both cases, detectives were able to get video and pictures of the suspect.

The investigations are ongoing.