Seminole County

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

LONGWOOD, Fla. — A local jewelry store owner says burglars stole $400,000 worth of merchandise during an elaborate heist that included cutting holes in walls and the roof to get inside.

“It’s unbelievable,” Certified Jewelry Designs owner Albert Pagan said.


The attention to detail gives Pagan reason to believe the job wasn’t pulled off by amateurs.

“It’s so difficult what they did, everything they went through,” Pagan said. “... These people are professional. Experienced.”

See photos of the damage below:

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Pagan said the thieves scaled the building and cut a hole through the roof before entering his store through the business next door.

“The security was just assessing that they have no idea how they were able to do all of this cutting of all of this steel and all of this construction, and crawl through the attics and then cut through a reinforced wall and cut through the vault,” he said.

Surveillance video shows someone grabbing a doorknob and walking away, and a second clip shows two people carrying bags away from the business.

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Police said there are two suspects in the case, but they have yet to identify them.

Pagan said because he also repairs and designs jewelry, some of what was taken can’t be replaced. He said break-ins have become an industrywide issue.

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“And there’s very few of us even left now because people are just leaving the industry and it’s so dangerous,” he said.

Pagan said it will take some time to replace the merchandise that was stolen but that he will rebuild.

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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.