Crime Watch 8

Thousands of dollars in jewelry stolen during Lawrence break-ins

Robbers steal thousands of dollars in jewelry in Lawrence, Indiana

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) — Jewelry worth an estimated $40,000 was stolen in a string of robberies in a Lawrence neighborhood.

In all three cases, the thieves either kicked in a back window or broke in through the back door and went straight to the master bedroom and took the jewelry.

They did all of this while it was dark and the homeowners were away.

Three homeowners in the Oakland Hills neighborhood on different nights came home and noticed an odd draft. That is when they saw someone had broken into their homes.

“They walked right past any electronics that were in our bedroom and went straight for the jewelry,” said victim Julie McCullough.

Many of the pieces that were stolen from the three households were either unique or custom-made.

“It was 25 years’ worth of beautiful things that my husband had gotten me. It was my grandmother’s wedding ring,” McCullough said.

Victim Anne Seefeldt said that she lost “my opal ring that my mother had given me for my 16th birthday and my dad’s masonic ring.

“You know, there is not a lot of value in them. It is the sentimental value that just kills you,” Seefeldt said.

Those weren’t the only items. Watches, necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings were among other items stolen. Some of the more sentimental items included pieces that were given to one of the victims after his father and oldest daughter died.

Police found that the thieves didn’t leave behind much evidence. Authorities say the crimes are too similar to not be connected.

“It would appear that there is a connection between the three. The method of operation is similar in all three. They are going in through back doors and they are looking for very specific items, typically jewelry , things of that nature,” said Lawrence Deputy Police Chief Gary Woodruff.

Victims describe the robberies as “calculated.”

“I mean I think these people were in and out very quickly,” Seefeldt said.

“The fact that someone was truly in your home and the fear of them coming back or the what if’s,” McCullough said.

The thieves entered the victims’ homes while they were gone. For some, there was a five-hour window where they were out. For others, they were only gone for 30 minutes when the thieves struck.

“I guess I just thought this would never happen to us,” Seefeldt said. “I don’t ever want to relive this nightmare.”

Police have not identified any suspects. However, one victim says, a few days before her house was broken into, two women came up to her house on foot soliciting window sales. She said they asked a lot of questions about her dog and her husband’s truck. The women didn’t have any brochures or business cards.

Police say while it wouldn’t be out of the question that they may be connected to the crime, they can’t confirm any suspect information.

Below are images provided of the stolen jewelry.