Medina burglar drops safe from balcony, steals $1M in jewelry: Surveillance video

Authorities are warning about a brazen string of burglaries targeting high-end houses in several wealthy, suburban communities across the Twin Cities metro.

In one break-in captured on home surveillance video, a masked suspect got away with more than $1 million in jewelry.

The video, obtained by FOX 9, captures a masked suspect dropping a safe filled with jewelry from a second-floor balcony onto the backyard pool deck. The male perpetrator is then seen scooping it up and scrambling off through a wooded treeline to a get-away car before police arrive. The whole crime takes five minutes from break-in to escape.

"This person is brazen. He is going into these things thinking nobody is home," explained Medina Police Chief Jason Nelson.

Chief Nelson reports his department is investigating three residential break-ins of large, expensive homes in the last few weeks, including two where the suspect got away with high-value items, such as jewelry and cash. The chief believes the crimes are likely connected to a string of similar burglaries across several wealthy suburban communities, including Lake Elmo, Edina, and Wayzata. He said the same group could be responsible for 10 such burglaries.

"It is devastating for the community. I mean, their homes are their private place, and in most instances, people are not home," said Nelson.

Before getting away with that safe last week, the suspect threw a large rock through a glass door of the pool area, setting off the homeowner's sophisticated alarm and security system. Chief Nelson said responding officers were on the scene within eight minutes, but it was too late to stop the suspect even though the department was on high alert because of the prior break-ins.

"Does his homework, has no concern about whether that home is alarmed or not because he is in and out so fast," said Nelson. "They are not just randomly picking out places and then burglarizing. They are doing something. We have some investigative data that shows that they have been in the area, either the day prior or days prior, watching these residents."

A recent search warrant filed in Hennepin County District Court shows investigators are seeking GPS data from Google, hoping those responsible might have had a phone on in the area.

Stay with FOX 9 for continuing coverage of this story.