Law enforcement officials confirmed Tuesday they are investigating a multi-million-dollar jewel theft that occurred in Lebec last week.
The diamonds’ theft, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials, was the result of a Brinks tractor-trailer being broken into at a rest stop just north of the Santa Clarita Valley.
“On July 11, 2022, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clarita Station responded to the ‘Flying J’ rest stop and gas station in the unincorporated area of Lebec, in response to a burglary of a cargo container,” reads an LASD press release about the incident. “Deputies learned that several pieces of jewelry and gemstones valued at several million dollars were stolen from a locked ‘Brinks’ tractor-trailer by unknown suspects.”
Arnold Duke, president of the International Gem and Jewelry Show, explained to ABC7 that the jewels belonged to at least 16 exhibitors and were on their way to a jewelry show being held in Pasadena.
He confirmed, in an interview with the L.A.-based media outlet, that Brinks contracted individually with each exhibitor to move their merchandise from the close of a San Mateo show to the opening of the event’s Pasadena show.
“There was a large number of Rolex, Cartier and Franck Muller watches. These are luxury watches that sell $10,000 and up,” he told ABC7. “Every one of those has a unique serial number that can’t be erased. So, all of those watches are traceable.”
ABC7 reported Duke as saying the exhibitors value the items stolen at up to $150 million, while also including a statement distributed by Brinks, stating that the total value of the missing items is less than $10 million.
“It’s a common practice for these jewelers to underinsure,” he said. “Simply because if you insure everything you have, it’s very- it’s just very, very expensive. I’m talking about thousands of dollars every week and they’re on the road 40-some weeks a year.”
LASD Major Crimes Bureau (MCB) Cargo Cat’s and Metro Detail investigators, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are conducting a criminal investigation into the theft, according to law enforcement officials.
Anyone with information or questions related to this investigation can contact Sgt. Mileski at MCB, or if you would like to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or report online at www.p3tips.com.