Margate jeweller robbed by ‘sweet’ six-year-old thief

2014-03-05 00:00

A KZN jeweller thought nothing of it when a customer’s sweet six-year-old son wandered behind his counter yesterday.

But when the boy’s family left the store to fetch cash and didn’t return for their purchases, Andrew Christensen rushed to his safe and realised he’d been the victim of a child burglar.

The heist not only saw jewellery estimated at over R100 000 stolen from Andrew’s Manufacturing Jewellers — an upmarket family-owned boutique in Margate — but also the loss of treasured items owned by customers.

Co-owner Andrew Christensen said an ice cream tub “in-box” filled with diamond rings brought in for re-modelling; antiques for valuations; and gems for re-setting had been taken. “Unfortunately, there will be a lot of broken hearts out there — this is not an insurance issue: we want these items back.”

Minutes after the theft, the outraged Christensen wrote this on the store’s website: “Family of mother, aunty, six year old son and young baby all distracting me while the f*****g son of six crawls into the back and steals a s*** load from my safe.”

Christensen (40) told The Witness: “An upper class-looking family came in; very polite and well-groomed. The father had a toddler with him; there were two women around 30 who [said] they were sisters, and their six-year-old son. The sisters were doing the looking, and they wanted to see everything — that’s when the alarm bells began to ring.”

He said he was aware that the boy was “going under the counter”, but that the women drew his attention to purchases they claimed to want: two watches, tanzanite earrings and a white-gold necklace.

“While I was working out the price for one of them, the other section of the family left the store,” he said. “Then the woman left as well; she said she had to get money from the car.”

But the mother didn’t return, and Christensen found no sign of the boy. Instead, in his workshop, he found that his safe had been looted.

“The safe had been unlocked — I have to think the boy just got lucky to find the safe like that,” he said.

He said the safe was unlocked “because I was just returning another customer’s goods to the safe when this family came in”.

He speculated that the boy may have signalled his success to his family from the workroom via a window.

Later, Christensen checked his CCTV footage — showing the outside of the store — and saw “the whole family had run for their car and sped off”.

Before briefing police, the London-trained craftsman returned to his Facebook page to write this vow: “To the filthy family … that just robbed my store: I have you on camera and am going to hunt you sons of b*****s down.”

A docket for theft has been opened with the Margate SAPS.

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