MPHERSON, Kan. (KWCH) – McPherson’s new video shows a group of thieves getting away with more than $10,000 in jewelry from a store. From there, police believe the same group went to Manhattan and… stole more than $26,000 worth of jewelry from a second store.
The stores are enlisting the help of the public to assist the police in their efforts to identify and apprehend suspects.
Gina Venable of Venable Jewelers in McPherson wants the trio of thieves stopped and is doing everything she can to get the word out.
“They came in, a group of three women, and they were shopping for their mom,” Venable recalled.
That turned out to be a cover story. Venable said he believes the three thieves knew what they were looking for.
“The first thing they did was separate me and my other employee,” she said.
Then, they wasted no time.
“They worked on my employee. They were very good and professional with the distraction,” Venable said. “They took her from one end of the case to the other and they were bombarding her with, ‘I can see this,’ ‘I can see that,’ ‘I can see this. ?”
It happened under the watchful eye of the camera.
“One of the ladies had actually come close to the end of the case and actually reached and grabbed a whole tray of rings, which my employee saw and retrieved that tray,” Venable said.
But the thieves did not give up.
“Through their skill at distraction, they were able to pocket two of those rings,” Venable said.
It was a financial success for Venable of over $10,000. For employees, the loss is not just money.
“Totally violated. And then you start thinking about everything and think, “are we safe?” ‘What do we do to protect ourselves?’ It’s just frustrating,” said Venable Jewelers employee Classie Moore.
The Manhattan jewelry leak more than doubled what the thieves took from Venable’s store in McPherson. Riley County police said they have been in contact with McPherson police and believe the same suspects are involved in both crimes.
Anyone who knows that cold weather helps police stop burglaries can forward information to Crime Stoppers: For McPherson County Crime Stoppers, call 1-800-241-8118 or your local number, 620-241-1122. You can also text MPCS, then your tip to 274637 (CRIMES). You can also fill out a report with Manhattan-Riley County Crime Caps.