HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – More than a quarter of a million dollars worth of jewelry was gone in an instant, and now, a jewelry wholesaler is desperately trying to recover the stolen merchandise.
Orly Maor now knows she made a big mistake when she left her vehicle to go shopping. "I didn't really notice anybody watching, and I didn't even think it could happen in a place like this. It looks so safe."
Maor markets wholesale jewelry to malls, hotel shops, Chinatown merchants, and others. On Wednesday afternoon, she got out of her SUV, walked to her trunk to show a customer some bracelets, then closed the door, and dashed into the Nordstrom Rack store near Ward Center for 15 minutes.
That was all the time it took. She says thieves stole almost 300 thousand dollars worth of gold and silver jewelry. Maor describes how she felt when she discovered the jewelry was gone.
"Oh, my gosh, I thought my heart stopped beating. I was shocked. I thought, "I'm not seeing well." I opened the trunk, and it is not there. I thought, "It's a nightmare."
The merchandise is uninsured. It included two duffle bags full of pendants, earrings, rings, and chains. Some of the items sell for as much as 10 thousand dollars.
Honolulu police say the parking lots outside Nordstrom Rack and around Ward Center are high-target areas for smash-and-grabs and punched-in car locks.
Hawaii News Now did some checking and the latest annual statistics published by HPD show more than 400 incidents of larceny in the Ala Moana-Kakaako corridor, which includes the Ward area. That's the second highest number of thefts on all of Oahu.
Security cameras caught a man looking into Maor's car on Wednesday. Police say he is not a suspect, but a person of interest they'd like to talk to. They're also asking for help from any witnesses who may have seen something around 3:30 that afternoon.
When asked how big a loss this was for Orly, she says it was her entire life savings, " That's my whole business. That's it. That's all the business I have. And now, I have no business, no income."
Maor has learned a lesson from all of this. She says she'll never leave valuables in her vehicle again - even if it's just a quick trip to the store.