Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
QUEENSTOWN, Md. (WJZ) — A brazen jewel thief has Maryland State Police on the lookout for a robber in disguise. It happened at the Queenstown Premium Mall Outlet.
Rochelle Ritchie explains–this is just one of many jewelry store robberies in Maryland in just a few months.
Pictures show the disguise Maryland State Police say a man was wearing when he walked into the Ultra Diamond jewelry store at Queenstown Premium Outlets around 8 p.m. Sunday, gun in one hand, robbing the store with the other.
“Made off with dozens of pieces of jewelry, many of which were diamonds, diamond rings and diamond jewelry,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
A wig, baseball cap, fake beard and a black blazer worn by the suspect are now in the hands of state police, trying to determine if they hold any evidence leading them to the gun toting robber.
“People were noticing him because he had this very obvious disguise on, were looking at him, he was trying to avoid eye contact with those people,” Shipley said.
After stealing anything he could get his hands on, police say the man ran out of the store, taking off his disguise, leaving it on the ground. He threw on a green and black riding jacket and helmet, then took off on a motorcycle. But he didn’t go far.
Police say the suspect then ditched the bike in a wooded area. A quick check revealed the bike was stolen from D.C. in 2010, and so were the plates.
WJZ has reported on several jewelry store heists like this in the last six months.
In February, armed men ran into Colonial Jewelers and stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry after ordering employees to the ground.
And in April, a Cartier in Chevy Chase was robbed after masked men ran in, smashing display cases and taking at will.
Customers say they aren’t surprised by the robbers’ boldness.
“They’re getting pretty brazen these days,” a man said.
Some who shop at the outlet mall in Queenstown say increased security is a must to protect retailers and customers.
Ritchie: “Do you ever see security in this area?”
Shopper: “No, we’ve been here at night too. Not a big security presence.”
Maryland police are not able to say whether or not this robbery is connected to any other jewelry store robberies across Maryland in the last few months.
Police are not saying how much the stolen jewelry is worth.