TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — The owner of a Temecula jewelry store says a thief pulled off a nearly $4 million heist last week.

Joe Hattar, owner of Diamonds By Monet, shared with CBS2/KCAL9 security video that shows a burglary suspect carving a hole into the side of a concrete and steel safe for three hours early last Monday.

Wearing a headlamp and a termite suit, and armed with a saw, Hattar says, the burglar walked off with all he’s worked for over the past decade.

“I can’t believe it. It’s probably well-planned. It’s not the first time,” he said.

“It’s a disaster. All my hard work for 10 years, it’s gone within a few hours.”

Hattar said the thief got in by first cutting a hole in the roof of the business next door. Once inside, the suspect cut another hole into the jewelry store’s wall.

Hattar suspects the thief had help.

“It’s a group of people; it’s not one or two or three,” he insisted.

Hattar said it’s unclear why the store’s alarm or motion sensors didn’t go off. The majority of the stolen jewelry isn’t covered by insurance.

“That’s the last thing you want to think about, someone coming and rob you and clean you out,” he said.

Hattar filed a police report and hopes that because some of his pieces are so unique, authorities will be able to track down the items more easily.


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