THIEVES stole thousands of dollars worth of stock and caused thousands more in damage during a ‘‘mad smash and grab’’ at a Warners Bay jewellery store yesterday.
Lake Macquarie police commander acting Superintendent Murray Lundberg said the thieves reversed a vehicle through the multi-folding security doors at Davidson’s Jewellery in the Lake Village Arcade about 1.30am.
Once inside they smashed through glass counter tops and displays and snatched necklaces, rings and other items.
The offenders then drove the vehicle out of the store, through the arcade and onto the street.
Specialist police examined a large mattock and a black torch that were left behind by the offenders yesterday.
The store’s owners, John and Nonji Penfold, were still assessing the damage caused and the items stolen last night.
‘‘It was so bad, so much was stolen,’’ Mrs Penfold said.
‘‘Not a lot of the really expensive stuff – luckily that was tucked away in a safe – but they did so much damage.’’
Family friend Alister Mallet, who helped Mrs Penfold clean up the broken glass yesterday, said he thought the thieves had been in and out in a matter of minutes.
‘‘It was just a mad smash and grab by the look of it,’’ he said.
‘‘They got what they could in a hurry.’’
Superintendent Lundberg told the Newcastle Herald there was no CCTV vision of the ram raid and the investigation would hinge on witnesses who saw the incident or any suspicious vehicles in the Warners Bay area.
‘‘At this stage we don’t have an idea about descriptions of vehicles or numbers of offenders,’’ he said.
‘‘Any assistance from the public would be greatly appreciated.’’
The early-morning raid was the second in the Hunter in a few months after thieves used a Fiat van to smash their way into a jewellery store in July.
SMASH AND GRAB: Davidson’s Jewellery in Warners Bay after a vehicle reverse-rammed into it and thieves grabbed goods. No CCTV footage was found.
TOOLS: Nonji Penfold holds up the torch and mattock that were used in the theft. Picture:Max Mason-Hubers