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Jewelry store targeted again by smash and grab thieves


Monday night’s smash and grab robbery in Kitchener was not just the second one reported at Fairview Park Mall in the last 10 days, but it’s also the second time in six months the store itself has been targeted by thieves.

Four male suspects ran into IceWave Jewellers just before 9 p.m., hitting the glass display cases with hammers and stuffing jewelry into bags.

They then left the mall and got into a dark-coloured sedan driven by a fifth suspect.

The owners of IceWave Jewellers shared security video of the robbery with CTV News on Tuesday. They said the store was first robbed several months ago. They then moved to a different location within the mall, opening their new storefront on April 1.

Waterloo regional police said Monday night’s robbery is part of a continuing trend of smash and grab-style thefts in the community.

Previous jewelry store robbery

On May 18, a similar robbery happened a different jewelry store in Fairview Park Mall.

Four masked males smashed display cases and grabbed merchandise before fleeing the store. As they left, they discharged a noxious substance in the mall before getting into a white SUV driven by a fifth person.

The suspects were also carrying hammers, while one was seen with a gun.

Police released security images of the suspects a few days later.

Smash and grab trend

Since November 2023, there have been five armed robberies at jewelry stores in Fairview Park Mall.

And they’re not the only location being targeted.

Smash and grab thefts have also been reported in Stratford and Conestoga Mall in Waterloo.

“The Retail Council of Canada estimates there’s about a 300 per cent increase in the last four years in retail theft involving some acts of violence,” explained Brad Davis, an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Security image of a jewelry store robbery at Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener.

Why are they becoming more frequent?

Mark Crowell, chief of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, called the violent robberies “very concerning behaviour.”

He believes the proximity to the expressway and Highway 401 may play a factor in why malls are being targeted.

“Those who are coming from outside, they have quick, easy access, often with a stolen vehicle and then heading down the highway within a couple of minutes,” Crowell told CTV News.

He added that investigators continue to work with their policing partners across the Greater Toronto Area.

The damage left behind after a smash and grab robbery at IceWave Jewellers in Fairview Park Mall. (Submitted)

Another factor may be how easy it is to resell stolen merchandise.

“Jewelry items will be online in a day or two in various different locations,” Crowell explained.

No further details have been released about the suspects or what was taken.

- With reporting by Ashley Bacon Top Stories

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