Smash & Grab Thieves Hit Metro East Jewelry Store

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CAHOKIA, IL (KTVI)-- Police in Cahokia are looking for four smash and grab robbers guilty of a lightning quick attack on a pawn shop early Tuesday morning.  The men broke the front window, smashed a jewelry case, got everything out and were out of the store in under three minutes.

Surveillance video, which was seen first on FOX 2, shows the entire crime.  It’s tough for store manage Oakley Hankins to watch.

“It’s very frustrating,” he said in an interview Tuesday.   “I mean to watch four guys jump out of a car on a busy highway and get back in and get back out…thirty seconds in and out.  Very frustrating.”

But he gets some solace from the fact the crooks left behind plenty of clues.

First and foremost is the video.  While the men’s faces were all covered, police got a good look at their car, a late model Chevy Impala, likely from Missouri, with a temporary plate and Enterprise tags.  The pictures will fill in other blanks, too.

“We’ve got all the different angles now,” Cahokia Police Lt. Dennis Plew said.   We’ll be able to see exactly where they went in, see what kind of instruments they used, and hopefully get some identification.”

There is also blood evidence from all the broken glass.

Police in Cahokia have compared notes with officers in Ferguson and Belleville, but still don’t have any suspects.

Back at the store, they hope justice comes quickly.

“You will be caught,” Hankins said referring to the thieves.  “And, paybacks.  Whatever the legal system is it will take its course.”

Store management says no jewelry belonging to customers was stolen.  It was all in a locked vault.  They say from now on, no items will be left overnight in glass cases.

Police don't know much about the suspects, just that they were all male.  Police believe the four suspects got away in a new white Chevy Impala with a temp tag taped to the back window and some kind of dealer license plates.

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