Showcases at Natalia Jewellers were smashed during a break-in at the South Surrey store May 15.

Showcases at Natalia Jewellers were smashed during a break-in at the South Surrey store May 15.

Morgan Crossing business targeted in early-morning heist

Thieves hit South Surrey jewelry store, flee with cache of watches and custom-made jewelry.

A break-in to a South Surrey jewelry store has the owner calling for increased police presence in Morgan Crossing.

“We are feeling very, very unprotected,” John Gulerian, of Natalia Jewellers, said.

Gulerian’s store, at 102C-15735 Croydon Dr., was targeted early May 15.

Gulerian said video surveillance shows two masked culprits gained entry around 4:30 a.m. They were in and out of the store within two minutes, clearing watches and jewelry from five showcases before fleeing.

“They broke the wooden doors to get into the merchandise,” Gulerian said. “One of them had a metal pipe, and the other one had a crowbar.”

Gulerian said he and his family opened the store in Morgan Crossing shopping centre nearly three years ago, after 12 years in Peninsula Village.

While they are insured for the loss, Gulerian said the incident has forced the family to keep the business closed while the damage is repaired and the stock – much of which was custom-made – is replenished. He hopes to reopen this weekend.

Gulerian said his store is not the only one that has been targeted in recent months, and that he is frustrated more isn’t being done to address the issue.

“(It is) the small things that bring the big things,” he said, pointing to the shooting last month of 28-year-old Craig Widdifield.

“It is so frustrating what is happening. Maybe the presence of the police in there more frequently… maybe they deter these guys. This is happening too much in Morgan Crossing, that is a problem.”

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said Monday he is unaware of similar break-ins in the area, but assured that it is one police are keeping an eye on, both through uniformed and plainclothes patrols.

“We visit the area on a regular basis,” he said.

As of Monday, suspects in the May 15 break-in remained at large, and none of the stolen goods had been recovered.

Paquet said police did recover a van that was used to commit the offence, and are awaiting results of a forensic examination. He noted the van was reported stolen about six hours after the robbery, and was recovered near 148 Street and 60 Avenue.

Anyone with information on those responsible is asked to contact police at 604-599-0502.