Video released of $150,000 smash and grab jewelry theft

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Police continue to search for a pair of thieves who stole approximately $150,000 worth of Rolex watches from a jewelry store inside the Lexington Center during the Boys Sweet 16 Tournament.

With the horde of fans inside the Lexington Center on Saturday it may have been hard to notice two men running through the crowd, even if they were carrying thousands of dollars in jewelry stolen from Shelia Bayes Fine Jewelers.

"People coming and going, a lot of commotion, that normally isn't the case," said Shelia Bayes. She was discussing the theft on Monday, while a glass company made repairs to the damaged display cases.

Surveillance video from inside the store shows just how quickly that theft happened. In under ten seconds one man uses a wooden mallet to shatter the glass, then he and another grab all of the watches in the case before running away. Bayes says she found out by phone from one of her employees.

"Her voice was shaking and she said we'd been robbed and the police had been called and my first question was 'Is everyone OK?'" Bayes said.

Bayes had recently upgraded her security system. She hopes the video it provides will allow someone to identify the thieves. She's also making improvements to the cases that hold the store's jewelry. The glass that was installed on Monday is shatterproof and she plans on having it put in all of her displays.

"That wasn't available when they were installed," she said. "The idea is they would have to hit it several times and hit it hard and even if it were to crack it would be a very small crack."

The surveillance from inside the jewelry store isn't the only video police are looking at. They believe the thieves ran to a dark van which was waiting outside Rupp Arena.

"Really, all things considered, I consider us very blessed in 20 years, not having dealt with something like this before," Bayes said.

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