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Local Jewelers On High Alert After Wolfchase Heist

Jewelers across the Mid-South are on alert after a brazen theft at a jewelry store inside Wolfchase Galleria.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com)–Jewelers across the Mid-South are on alert after a brazen theft at a jewelry store inside Wolfchase Galleria.

Surveillance video of the theft at Reed's Jewelers has not bee made available and the company isn’t talking.

But other Mid-South jewelers are, understandably, on edge.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Rolex watches were take by several men armed with hammers Saturday.

It was an attack that sent mall shoppers screaming and running.

The Memphis theft was similar to one at an Atlanta mall last summer, leaving Memphis area jewelers on high alert.

“It was really shocking to hear how it went down and how quickly it happened,” said James Gattas, the owner of James Gattas Jewelers.

“This is not like a Vegas jewel heist,” Ed Harris of Mary Beth Jewelers told localmemphis.com. “It’s just a bunch of guys with hammers that did something really foolish." 

It may have been foolish, but also scary.

“I heard what sounded like gunshots,” said one eyewitness named “Tony” who did not want to divulge his last name. “But it was actually men pounding on glass with sledge hammers, and the glass was not breaking.”

As of Monday, Reeds Jewelers wasn’t talking and neither were police. But, area jewelers were on high alert.

“I was president of the Tennessee Jewelers Association,” said Gattas. “We have seminars all the time on training our sales staff, employees, everybody as to what to do if something happens.”

And now it has.

“I really don’t think they understand how hard it’s going to be to sell 65 stolen Rolex watches,” Harris told localmemphis.com.

That’s because Rolexes are high maintenance, requiring frequent cleaning.

“All a jeweler has to do is match a serial number, make a phone call, and somebody’s going to jail,” said Harris.

In the meantime, the big theft won’t change the way other jewelers do business.

“It won’t, because we always go through certain scenarios of what could happen and how to prevent that,” said Gattas.

And as for what the thieves might face trying to move the stolen watches, Harris said, “They would probably make more money if they had just stolen a car.”

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