Jewelry stores hit by new theft wave

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Armed robbers and determined thieves have been targeting more jewelry stores in Norway of late, from small towns to the capital. Police in Oslo were still searching Monday for a man who held up the capital’s landmark David-Andersen store in the heart of the city on Saturday afternoon.

It was the latest in a string of recent heists, with the David-Andersen robbery occurring in an area full of shoppers and tourists. The store on Karl Johans Gate just across the street from the Parliament Building in Oslo was also full of shoppers when a man carrying a pistol walked in and threatened an employee into turning over expensive watches.

Witnesses said he then calmly walked out of the store before pausing, pulling a ski mask back down over his face and running into the nearby metro station at the square called Egertorget. He was described as a tall and large man wearing a black sweater, blue jeans and jogging shoes.

‘Very serious’
“It’s of course very serious when such an armed robbery occurs in the light of day,” Hanne Nordve of the Oslo Police District told newspaper Aftenposten. “We have no indications, though, that the man would be violent towards other people.”

Police farther north of Oslo, in the mountain town of Odda, were also searching for some extremely bold thieves who literally dug their way into the Berg Gull og Sølv jewelry store over the weekend. Alarms rang early Sunday morning after the thieves either drilled or hacked holes in a concrete wall in the store’s cellar, to gain access to the store.

Surveillance cameras picked up three thieves, all masked and wearing black clothing, as they then quickly but calmly seized trays of jewelry valued at around NOK 200,000. Police characterized the burglary as a “professional” hit.

‘Brutal’ Trysil robbers still at large
In southeastern Norway, meanwhile, police are also working to track down two armed men behind what they called the most brutal of the recent jewelry store heists. It occurred March 2,  when two armed men beat and bound up the owner of the Gullhjørnet jewelry store in the ski resort town of Trysil, near the Swedish border.

The robbery also occurred in broad daylight, and the dark-clad thieves wearing ski caps fled over the border with both jewelry and cash. The suspected getaway car, adorned with stolen license plates, was later reported to have run off a road in Rörbäcksknäs, Sweden by two men who jumped out and left a bag containing the jackets and caps they allegedly were wearing before driving off again.

The bag and its contents were sent for DNA analysis. Norwegian police issued an international arrest warrant and alerted Swedish police to be on the lookout for the car along with another, a white late-model Kia Optima, also believed tied to the robbery.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund