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Crooks plunder jewels

PUBLISHED: 17:04 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:35 03 July 2010

The raided jewellers

The raided jewellers

THIEVES who carefully removed diamond rings from their boxes, stole jewellery worth an estimated £60,000 after breaking into a Great Yarmouth shop.

Police say the high price of gold could have fuelled the weekend raid on Philip John Jewellers in King Street with much of the haul likely to be melted down.

RAIDED: Philip Barulis, owner of Philip John jewellers.

THIEVES who carefully removed diamond rings from their boxes, stole jewellery worth an estimated £60,000 after breaking into a Great Yarmouth shop.

Police say the high price of gold could have fuelled the weekend raid on Philip John Jewellers in King Street with much of the haul likely to be melted down. But officers say anyone who is offered jewellery items of dubious provenance as last minute Christmas gifts should contact them immediately.

The incident follows a daring daytime robbery at Cox's in Northgate Street last month, when two men in hoods and masks armed with sledgehammers threatened staff and smashed glass casing, escaping with watches. However, police are not linking the two incidents.

Det Con Neil Starland of Yarmouth police, said the latest haul, which included diamond rings, gold chains and bracelets, could be sold on to other local jewellers.

He said: “If you are buying jewellery off someone in the street then people should be aware that it might be a bit dodgy.”

Police are checking CCTV footage for evidence of the burglars arriving or leaving an alleyway behind the King Street store which they would have used to break in through the back door between 5pm on Saturday and 9.30am on Monday .

Det Con Starland believed the burglars had broken in by hacking away at a wooden frame surrounding the steel back door before stealing jewellery from two window displays, hidden from view by steel shutters, and a glass display case in the shop.

He said the burglars would have been inside for “a fair while” before leaving as they had taken time to remove many of the rings from their boxes.

He estimated up to 60pc of the shop's stock had been taken, much of which had been bought second hand.

However, the burglar alarm had not sounded during the raid and subsequent tests by the alarm company revealed there may have been a short circuit at the time of the incident which caused the failure.

Philip Barulis, owner of the Philip John Jewellers, said the first he knew of the raid was when he arrived for work at 9.30am on Monday to find up to 100 gold chains and bracelets as well as diamond rings had been stolen.

He said: “It is devastating. I can probably just about survive but it is not going to be easy. It is especially tough at this time of year with the Christmas rush.”

The 46-year-old, who lives in Winterton with his partner April, 48 and daughter Rosanna, 10, said business had been better than expected in the aftermath of the burglary even though trading conditions were difficult because of the economic downturn.

The Londoner trained as a jeweller with diamond and watch specialists Ernest Jones in Reading and opened Philip John Jewellers after moving to Yarmouth with his parents 20 years ago.

He has received numerous qualifications from the National Association of Goldsmiths, including a retail jewellers diploma and management course diploma and he can not only sell and value jewellery, but also make it to order.

He said: “I have been nervous since the raid. It has made me wonder what is going to happen every time I put the shutters up.”

He added: “Customers should know that we are still very much open for business with plenty of stock to sell.”

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