Jewelers heist: teen in dock

Katrina and Andrew Haultain on Monday morning, overseeing the reconstruction of the shop entrance before re-opening on Tuesday.

A 16-year-old is expected to appear in the Palmerston North Youth Court this week in association with the December 30 ram-raid on Cambridge Jewellers.

Cambridge station police sergeant Ben Joll said the youth, who is facing multiple charges of burglary, dangerous driving and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, was arrested in Palmerston North on Monday.  Several other persons of interest, believed to be from Hamilton and Auckland, are being investigated.

Cambridge Jewellers owners, Andrew and Katrina Haultain, re-opened on Tuesday, determined that the robbery wouldn’t deter them from getting back to business as soon as possible.

Four offenders used a stolen car to ram the front of the Victoria St shop, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage and stealing about $70,000 worth of jewellery and watches.  The vehicle rammed the entrance repeatedly, then used weapons to smash display cabinets, primarily targeting high-end Swarovski, Karen Walker, Nomination jewellery and G-shock and Nixon watches.

The Haultains believe that the immediate activation of alarms and a smoke cloak prevented the intruders from staying longer than the one-and-a-half minutes they spent inside.

“They targeted certain brands … they knew what they wanted,” said Katrina.

Katrina and Andrew were at the shop within minutes of the break-in only to find the vehicle used to gain entry still idling in the entranceway. Security personnel and police were there soon afterwards.

Gutting as it was, Andrew said they were grateful the theft had not occurred during the busy period leading up to Christmas.  He wanted to reassure customers that jewellery they had in for repair was untouched. “That was securely locked away in our safe.”

The theft was the second the Haultains have suffered in the decade since they opened. The first saw $100,000 worth of jewellery stolen during the visit of Britain’s Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in April 2014.

“We want people to know we won’t be put off by this.  It is back to business as usual for us.”

Sgt Joll urged people seeing items fitting the description of those stolen to contact police via 105 and quote the file number 201230/0347.

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