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Brazen $3 million jewel heist in Paramus

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : Must’ve been just like “The Italian Job”: A sophisticated burglary crew hauled off a one-ton safe that held $3 million in jewels, gems and watches after cutting through a cinder block wall behind it at a diamond exchange on Route 4.

The crew probably used a hand truck to get the 2,046-pound safe out of the Elite Diamond Exchange, through Lens Crafters next store, and out to the back, where it likely was loaded onto a truck with a mechanical lift, said Paramus Police Chief Richard Cary.

Cary said the burglars began by cutting a power cable to the adjacent Lens Crafters business sometime between 8 and 11 p.m. Sunday, while a record TV audience was watching the Super Bowl.

Then they broke in through a rear steel fire door, entered a storage closet and cut the wires to Lens Crafters’ alarm and telephone systems.

From there, they entered a conference room in the store, where they broke through sheet rock and a cinder block wall to get into the diamond exchange, the chief said.

They then brought the safe — 40″ tall x 27″ wide x 29″ deep — out through Lens Crafters, he said.

“According to personnel from Elite Diamond Exchange, the safe contained diamonds, ring settings, engagement rings, bangle bracelets, and watches valued at approximately $3 million,” Cary said.

“Detectives are reviewing video surveillance tapes from area businesses and working with other law enforcement agencies in the tri-state area that have experienced similar burglaries and thefts,” he said.

Anyone with information about the heist is asked to Paramus Detective Michael Cebulski at 201-262-3400, extension 553.

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