A Gold Coast family business could be forced to close after an alleged armed robber stole up to $400,000 worth of jewellery and cash from their Southport store.
To make matters worse, the alleged thief also took the Minnie Street business’s CCTV hard drive disk with him in the hopes of evading detection.
Want Jewellery owner Andrew Want said he had been inside the store sorting through some stock in the safe around 10pm last night, after taking part in the Broadbeach Christmas Markets across the weekend, when he went to get something from his car.
“It was pitch black outside,” he said, adding his car was parked just outside the front door.
“Someone stepped out of the shadows, they were obviously out there waiting.”
He said the alleged offender, dressed in a black hooded jumper or jacket, black tracksuit pants and thongs, forced him back inside the shop.
He also thought the man was carrying a gun at the time.
Mr Want said he was told to lie down on the floor, where he remained for the next 10 minutes or so until the man then fled the shop.
The Southport local then called police, only realising later that his Chrysler car and mobile phone had also been stolen.
The offender is alleged to have taken pendants, necklaces, bracelets, watches and cash worth up to $400,000.
“I have two young kids, that’s all I could think about,” he said.
“I could hear him grabbing s—, heard the safe open.
“I couldn’t believe what happened really, I was just scared. It sucks. Thank (goodness) nothing else bad happened.”
He said the thief also took the recorded CCTV footage before leaving.
Mr Want said he was concerned insurance might not cover the entirety of his losses.
Neighbouring Minnie Street business owner, Cornerstone on Minnie, Julie Cox said she was shocked at the news.
“They are such a sweet family … this shouldn’t happen to them,” she said, adding the area was generally quiet.
“We get random cars running up and down the road, but no, it’s a business area.”
She said there were CCTV cameras everywhere and Mr Want had invested in keeping his store safe by placing bollards out of the front of the business.
Residents across the road said they came home to police on scene around 10pm.
“We got home last night after dinner,” Veronica Thompson said.
“Police were there. When we came in, there was an alarm, it was beeping.”
Ms Thompson said while traffic was busy, the area tended to be quiet.
The alleged offender is described as about 175cm tall and spoke with a New Zealand accent.
The man then stole the employee’s car, which was found a few hours later on Anne Street.
Police are continuing to investigate.
Anyone with any information urged to contact Policelink on 131 444.