MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WTVR) – An elaborate heist at a Midlothian jewelry store was like something out of a movie.
The highly organized overnight break-in left Vera's Fine Jewelers out of almost $1 million worth of valuables.
Police said an alarm sounded at the store around 10:30 p.m. Monday. But when an officer arrived, everything appeared quiet.
The building appeared empty and untouched. However, Mike Canigilia, the store’s owner, made a devastating discovery when he opened the store the following morning.
"When I came in Tuesday morning, I noticed things lying all over the floor and it was very obvious we had been broken into at that point," said Canigilia.
However, unlike several recent armed robberies in metro Richmond over the past year, where employees have been held at gunpoint and even Tasered, the suspects crept in during the night.
Police said the suspects used the roof to drop in through the ceiling.
The suspects also cut surveillance and alarm wires and even compromised a hidden vault. Additionally, the suspects tried to wipe out any evidence that would link them to crime.
Canigilia believes the crooks may have gotten away with more than $700,000.
"The most fortunate thing, except everyone being safe, was that none of our customers’ merchandise was compromised in any way,” said Canigilia. “It was kept in a completely separate location and all of it is 100 percent safe."
While the loss is overwhelming, it is the first time the family-owned business has been broken into.
And while insurance is a saving grace, Caniglia said it is hard to replace peace of mind.
"We're a family business. Everyone here is family. [The] most we can ask is that no one was hurt," said Caniglia.