Kellers Jewellers owner Joe Keller picks through a smashed display case at his store Saturday. The Lantzville business suffered a break-in earlier Saturday morning. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Jewelry store smashed up with crowbar, silver and gold stolen

Owner of Kellers Jewellers said the most expensive items were locked away in a safe

Thousands of dollars worth of jewelry was stolen from a store in Lantzville early Saturday morning.

A break-in occurred around 5:30 a.m. at Kellers Jewellers on Lantzville Road.

Joe Keller, owner of the business, said the suspect or suspects pried open the building’s front door with a crowbar and then broke through a second set of doors.

“They smashed everything and took a bunch of silver and gold jewelry and did more damage than anything else…” he said. “They came and smashed and grabbed and ran.”

He said it’s his understanding that police were on the scene within five minutes of the alarms being activated, but didn’t locate any suspects.

He said the valuable jewelry was locked in a safe and it was comparatively inexpensive jewelry that was taken, including sterling silver.

“So there’s no real huge value to it,” he said. “You accumulate it, and there’s value to it, but for somebody to re-sell it, there’s no re-sale value to it.”

He said there was no attempt made to break into the safe, and it didn’t appear as though the suspect or suspects had knowledge of which were the more valuable items in the store.

“They smashed the cases instead of pulling the drawers open, it would have been a lot easier for them,” Keller said. “So they’re not the brightest crayons in the box.”

He said the store used to have surveillance cameras, but they were unreliable and so he stopped using them. He said security is always in the back of his mind, though he hadn’t had a break-in in more than 15 years.

“This is little old Lantzville. There’s not a heck of a lot happens here,” he said.

Kellers Jewellers has operated in the Nanaimo area since 1960, the past 25 years in Lantzville. The store remained open Saturday as Keller cleaned it up and had the doors replaced, and said things will be back to business as usual.

“It’d just be nice to get these clowns,” he said.

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