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Smash and grab robbery at Elmira jewelry store

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The owners of Hartman Jewellers in Elmira woke up early Tuesday morning to a call saying their store had been robbed.

“We got a call from Waterloo Regional Police around 4:30 a.m. They said that there was glass in front of the store and that we needed to get down here,” said co-owner Stephen Meyer. “We’re about an hour and a half away, so it was a bit of a drive. But we got here and found out the front door had been smashed.”

He and his wife learned someone had broken through the front door of their business, a jewellery display case and taken some of the merchandise.

“It was mainly sterling silver stuff that was here. There was quite a few bracelets that are gone,” said Lisa Mulligan, store co-owner and Meyer’s wife. “There were also some watches gone and we’re still assessing how much.”

Robbers smashed door at Hartman Jewellers in Elmira on June 18, 2024. (Stefanie Davis/CTV Kitchener)

Meyer said police were already on scene when they arrived at the store. They also have video surveillance, which was handed over to officers.

Waterloo Regional Police said it’s still early in their investigation and they have no updates to share at this time.

“It’s just so violating that somebody would come into the business and do that,” Mulligan said. “We’re angry. You know, it’s an independent business. There’s no big company that’s coming to save us or help us. This is our business, this is what we do, so this will cost us a few thousand dollars to repair it.”

The owners say they’re in the process of calculating what was taken. Then, they’ll check in with their insurance to see what can be done to cover their losses.

Meyer’s grandfather opened the store, located on Arthur Street South, in 1927.

“Then my uncle took it over, and I took it over from him in 1987,” he explained.

Over the years, the family has added security measures to protect the store from robberies like this. Especially now that they’re happening more frequently in the community.

“We’re always diligent and it’s always a worry,” Meyer said. “The shopping malls have been the targets [of jewellery store robberies] lately because they don’t have controlled entrances on their stores. We have that, but it didn’t help in this case, of course. But we felt like we had everything that we needed in order to be secure here. The front door is glass, but had film in it, so it slowed him down. He was only in here for five or 10 seconds.”

Hartman Jewellers in Elmira, Ont. on June 18, 2024. (Stefanie Davis/CTV Kitchener)

Meyer said, from looking at the video footage, it appeared there were two people involved in the robbery.

It also isn’t the first time the store has been targeted.

“In 2001, we had an armed robbery. That was more similar to the robberies that have been going on recently in the shopping malls,” Meyer said. “I’m not saying this [instance] isn’t terrible, because it is. But it’s nothing like having a gun to your head which is what happened in 2001.”

The store is still open for business as usual. The owners hope to have the glass door and display case fixed as soon as possible.

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