HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A jewelry store struggling to survive the pandemic’s economic downturn has now been struck by another disaster: Armed robbers who caused thousands of dollars in damage on top of what they stole.
The incident happened just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Security cameras captured the headlight from a motorcycle outside Opal Fields Jewelry. Seconds later the store’s plate glass window was smashed and two thieves rushed inside.
One immediately flipped a showcase and made a beeline towards a display in the window while the second suspect stood by, ripping sheets off the display counters with one hand.
He had a gun in his other hand.
The store is located at Restaurant Row.
Store owner Tom Wheeler said a security guard was standing near his store when the robbery happened. “(A third suspect) subdued him at gunpoint. They took his cell phone and his service radio to prevent him from communicating,” he said.
Twenty-four hours later, Wheeler is still reeling.
“Your heart sinks,” he said.
He’s left picking up the pieces of a business he spent eight years building.
“It’s quite surprising how much damage was done in such a short time,” Wheeler said, as he vacuumed shards of glass off the floor.
The thieves were in and out in just two minutes. The estimated damage is upwards of $30,000. That doesn’t include the stolen jewelry.
“You can see how they move around. They were brazen. They were confident. They weren’t afraid of anything,” Wheeler said, after watching the surveillance video. “All of us in the Hawaii Jewelers Association are on guard, sharing information amongst each other.”
The men were covered head to toe in dark clothing and wore motorcycle helmets. Cameras captured close-ups of the suspects’ eyes through their open visors.
One of the suspect’s motorcycle helmets had teeth around the visor and an eyeball on top.
The second suspect had a Speed and Strength brand helmet.
Wheeler says they got away with engagement rings and a diamond line bracelet. Everything taken had a white store tag attached to the jewelry with a black string.
All three men escaped on motorcycles.
“They’re not stupid. They’re smart,” Wheeler said, of the suspects. “What makes them make this decision that this is how they want to act out their lives is so tragic.”
It’ll take time, but the shop owner said he’s determined to put his business back together.
“I’m going to garner every bit of support I can from my customers and the community and carry on,” Wheeler said.
If you have any information on the robbery, call Honolulu Crimestoppers at 955-8300.