Smash-&-Grab Robbers Hit Del. Jewelry Store

Alleged robbers duct tape employees inside Wilmington store

Broken glass was practically all that was left in the cases after four men with hammers and a handgun robbed the Stuart Kingston Jewelry Store in Wilmington, Del. Tuesday afternoon.

The robbery happened at the Pennsylvania Avenue store around 1:30.

“Obviously they had cased the place -- either had someone come in and look around, see where all of the valuable things were,” said owner Jim Stein. “They ended up going into the vault.”

The men got into the store by hiding behind one of the alleged thieves and then all four men bursted in after an employee buzzed in the man thinking he was a customer.
The robbers demanded Stein’s 38-year-old son show them the valuables in the vault before duct-taping his hands behind his back -- as they did to the other three co-workers, Stein said.

Stein, who was in the back of the store as the robbery happened, managed to escape through another door and ran outside looking for help.

“I knew these guys were still here and I was out there a couple of minutes trying to find somebody – I couldn’t find anybody and I said ‘I’m going back in.’

“When I came back in, that’s when they came at me with raised hammers,” Stein said.

The men smashed the glass counters grabbing jewelry and cash before leaving the store.
They took off in a rental van and a Good Samaritan tried to follow, according to Stein.

“He followed them all the way on 95 to the Pennsylvania line and he said, ‘I think they went off on the Blue Route,’” Stein said. 

Luckily none of the employees in the store was hurt.

Police wouldn't say how much jewelry was taken but Stein called it a significant loss.
Stein had installed surveillance cameras at his family business after it was hit by robbers 15 years ago. Police were reviewing the tapes for possible leads.

Anyone with information should contact Wilmington Police Det. Shane Sowden at 302-576-3606 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.

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