Edina jewelry store hit by smash-and-grab thieves

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Outside of R.F. Moeller Jewerl in Edina, Minn.

Edina police are looking for the men who went into an Edina jewelry store shortly after it opened and got away with an unknown amount of items.

The incident happened around 10:25 a.m. at R.F. Moeller Jeweler on the 5000 block of France Avenue. Police say three men went in with hammers and started smashing jewelry cases, and a fourth person was involved in the escape.

The suspects left in stolen blue mini-van before transferring to a black sedan. The owner of the van told Fox 9 it was stolen Wednesday morning in northeast Minneapolis. Police found the abandoned van a few blocks from the jewelry store on a neighborhood street, and say the interior was doused in gasoline — most likely to destroy evidence.

An Edina resident walking her dog most likely witnessed the escape. Joane Mitchell said she saw the van come “by at a higher rate of speed than you should be doing and then right behind it a small black sedan came flying around Minnehaha Boulevard and around Bruce at an outrageous speed.” Mitchell later found the abandoned van in front of her house. Police believe the thieves left in the black sedan.

Edina Police are offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to arrests.

The R.F. Moeller smash and grab is not the only recent jewelry theft in the tony 50th and France shopping area. On July 29, two men stole more than 30-thousand dollars in jewelry from Robert Foote Jeweler. The theft occurred in the businesses’ old location on 5009 France Avenue; it has since moved a few blocks down.

And in 2014, another R.F. Moeller, in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood, was hit by smash and grab thieves; four suspects went in and smashed display cases with hammers and got away with $300,000 worth of Rolex watches.

Investigators have yet to say whether the recent thefts are tied to the others.