Ideal Jewelers on Avenue A near 24th street was nearly cleared out in a burglary early Thursday morning. The owner of the store Fernando Balderrama, who has owned the store for 27 years, says they stole an estimated $100,000 worth of jewelry, “They stole 40 or 50 watches and some diamond and silver jewelry. Some gold jewelry.”
The burglars cut the phone and electric lines to the store. A security camera behind the store was spray painted black making it nearly impossible to see the footage. Balderrama says the burglars knew what they were doing. “They had to be, because who else is going to think about turning the switch off cutting the phone lines cutting the alarm off, the wires, who else would have?” said Balderrama.
The owner says the burglars got into the store by breaking through the bathroom window at the back of the store. He says they would have to be pretty small to be able to squeeze through the tight space. “The bathroom window, but you know it’s only this much of a gap. They were able to get somebody through, I don’t know how. Must have been a kid or a real skinny person,” says Balderrama.
Balderrama says if any more items were stolen, his store which has been in business for nearly 28 years would have to close.“If they were to have taken all my watches I would have to close. To refurnish again, it took me 28 years to have what I have.”
This is not the first time the store has been broken into. Balderrama says his store has been broken into five times over the years. He hopes his store will remain open, “With God’s help I hope, little by little and this is not the first time they have robbed me this is like the fifth time. Thank God we have been able to recuperate little by little,” says Balderrama.