CAHOKIA — Three thieves broke into a pawnshop about 100 yards from the Police Department and escaped with an estimated $20,000 worth of jewelry early Tuesday.
A glass case containing jewelry at the Jewelry and Exchange Loan Co. at 95 Water St. was broken into, Police Chief James Jones said.
Police received a call from the alarm company at 3:17 a.m. and the first officer arrived 90 seconds later.
Officers are examining surveillance video of the crime.
One of the suspects suffered a cut and a Illinois State Police crime scene technician processed the crime scene and collected a blood sample for DNA purposes, Jones said.
Jones said the suspects wore hoodies. A detailed description of the suspects was not available.
John Bass, owner of the business, said he has been at the Water Street location for nine years and in Cahokia for a total of 23 years and has never had his business broken into.
"Literally, I am 100 yards from the front door to the Cahokia Police Department," Bass said
He said he hasn't completed his inventory, but a good guess is that the thieves got away with between 150 to 200 pieces of jewelry.
"We captured the three suspects on video who entered through the window and went back out of the window. We also got surveillance video of the car they left in," Bass said. "Hopefully in the next day or so, the police can identify the owner of the car and make some arrests."
Bass said he plans to have bars on the windows Wednesday.
Bass believes the suspects may be from Missouri and didn't realize how close the business was to the police department.
Anyone with any information on this crime is urged to call the Cahokia Police Department at 337-9505 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS. This is an anonymous tip line that pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.