PALO ALTO, Calif. - Thieves targeted a high-end department store on the Peninsula in a brazen smash and grab burglary. Police said they made off with more than $80,000 worth of jewelry and got away in less than two minutes.
The burglary happened at the Bloomingdale's at Stanford Shopping Center at 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Police released surveillance video that shows the burglars break the glass doors with river rocks. Police said the burglars used those same rocks to smash jewelry display cases, grabbing expensive jewelry and watches and cramming them into bags before escaping.
“I’m kind of shocked that it happened,” said Rhonda Bucklin of Menlo Park. “A lot of car burglaries lately. A lot of smash and grab in cars, lot of porch pirates.”
The jewelry cases at the east entrance of the store now sit empty. An employee said Movado and Tag Hauer watches were taken.
“I just can't believe it's happening right here and they broke into a major department store,” said Helen Ferrari of Palo Alto.
Police said shoplifting happens at the mall but not this.
“For an overnight burglary like this to happen smashing of the windows, it's extremely rare,” said Janine De La Vega, Palo Alto Police Public Affairs Manager.
It was back in 2015, burglars drove a stolen car through the glass doors at the same Bloomingdale’s during a similar smash and grab stealing $125,000 worth of jewelry. The suspects were later caught.
In this latest case, the two suspects got away along with a getaway driver. Police said mall security observed a person running to a parked car, speeding away with lights off.
“They know exactly what door to hit,” said Angel Garduque of Uno de 50.
Garduque works at Und de 50, a jewelry store at the mall and wonders if it’s an inside job. The theft raises concern.
“When I work by myself, I’m trying to focus on people who are walking in,” said Garduque.
Police hope this heist caught on camera will lead to clues.
“Even though you can’t see the suspects’s faces in the video, we are hoping someone may have information,” said De La Vega. “Maybe one of the suspects is bragging about how much he got.”
The getaway car was last seen turning onto Quarry Road traveling northbound on El Camino Real. Police said the suspect’s car is a 90s white four-door BMW 3 series.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto police 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voicemail to (650) 383-8984.