Mission Jewelry Store Heist

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Thieves stole an estimated $250,000 worth of jewelry from a  Mission District store over the weekend by breaking into an adjoining  business and then ransacking the jewelry shop, police and the storeowner said  today.

    The theft was reported shortly after 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Genesis  Jewelry at 3260 23rd St., near Mission Street.

    Someone had broken into the Farmers Insurance office at 3262 23rd  St. to gain access to the jewelry shop. There was a reinforced door  connecting the two businesses, and the intruder busted through the bottom of  the door and crawled through, police Lt. Troy Dangerfield said.

    Robert Avellan, the owner of Genesis Jewelry, got a call Saturday  morning from Farmers Insurance informing him that his store had been  burglarized.

    He said it appears that the intruders used a pry bar and that more  than one person was involved, based on footage from his store's surveillance  cameras.

    "It seems like there was just one person inside, but it seems like  he was handing over the merchandise through the door," Avellan said.

    The store has six surveillance cameras -- four inside and two  outside -- but the intruder stayed down and crawled around, and all that was  captured on video was a white hood, he said.

    "They were smart enough not to stand up," Avellan said.

    The stolen goods included diamond rings and assorted 14-karat gold  jewelry, including men's and women's bracelets, he said. Avellan estimated  the loss at $250,000.

    The items were not insured, he said, explaining that there was  difficulty with the insurance company because Avellan and his wife run two  businesses out of the same store -- the jewelry shop and a computer repair  business.

    The thieves apparently weren't interested in the computers.

    "They didn't touch any of the laptops that we have here," he said.

    He said he and his wife opened the store on 23rd Street about  eight months ago after moving from a spot nearby on 24th Street where they  had been for three years.

    "We're the very first ones of our family generation who have this  type of business," Avellan said. "Just the two of us."

    He said they opened the store because of his wife's success in  selling items to friends and acquaintances.

    "That's how our name and business came to be known," Avellan said.  "We decided to open up an actual store."

    Avellan said this is the first time the store had been  burglarized. It is equipped with an alarm system, but the alarm wasn't  functioning at the time of the break-in, he said.

    He said he's not sure what to do now, but said the store was open  for business today and that he and his wife are cleaning up.

    "We've got to keep on trying," he said.