Lake County

Investigators looking into whether 2 elaborate jewelry heists in Central Florida were related

CLERMONT, Fla. — Investigators are looking into whether two elaborate jewelry heists, both committed in Central Florida this year, were related.

Police said burglars stole more than $750,000 worth of merchandise from a jewelry store in Clermont in January. Police said the investigation into that case was inactive until a similar case, in which $400,000 worth of jewelry was stolen, happened last week in Longwood.


Investigators said they are taking a second look at the Clermont case that happened at the Village Goldsmith on West Colonial Drive near 7th Street back in January.

Neighbors said the thieves cut power to the store and used a wench on a vehicle to pry a metal grate off the window. Once they got in, they used all kinds of tools to cut through a safe and through a wall to a neighboring business.

Read: ‘It’s unbelievable’: Longwood shop owner says burglars stole $400K of jewelry in elaborate heist

The Village Goldsmith closed up shop about a month after the burglary.

In the more recent Longwood case, thieves cut their way through the ceiling into Certified Jewelry Designs. They cut through a reinforced wall into a vault and stole nearly $400,000 in jewelry.

Read: High-priced heist: Video shows thieves stealing more than $500,000 in jewelry

Clermont police are looking at the similarities and said they will speak to Longwood police to find out if there’s a connection between the two cases.

“Don’t discredit any information,” said Lt. Malcolm Draper with the Clermont Police Department. “We will follow up on any investigative lead that we can to try to get these perpetrators.”

Photos: $750K in jewelry stolen from Clermont shop in elaborate heist

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.