JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville jewelry store owners are calling out the people they say broke into their store this weekend and stole thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
Julie and Saki Mihalakos own Julie’s Jewelry and Appraisals on Atlantic Boulevard near Girvin Road.
“They know what they are doing is wrong,” said Julie Mihalakos of the thieves. “They are putting people out of business and that is wrong.”
Three people were caught on surveillance video inside the store stealing merchandise around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, they told News4JAX.
Julie and Saki, the mother and son who own the store, are frustrated.
“I was shivering,” Julie said. “I do not know why. I was kind of upset and angry. I said to myself, ‘here we go again.’”
“We are hard-working people,” Saki said. “It is unfortunate because it is a setback. But a minor setback is an opportunity for a major come up.”
A surveillance camera captured two people inside using a ladder and showed one of them looking up at the same camera. Another person was seen crawling on the floor of the store.
Julie and Saki say the thieves left behind plenty of damage.
This all happened in a new private showroom they were preparing to open within the next few months. In that room, there was high-end luxury and custom jewelry.
“They were masked pretty well though,” Saki said. “They are professionals. This wasn’t just a ‘break the glass, come in and try to snatch and grab.’ This was carefully planned.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating this latest break-in of a business the Mihalakos family has been running for 23 years now.
The last time the store was robbed was in March 2017. A man was arrested and charged with more than 40 “smash and grab” burglaries.
But this latest one was different.
Julie and Saki are still adding up all that they lost, which can take several days.
They want nearby business owners to be on high alert.
“Stay vigilant,” Saki said. “Understand that these things do happen. We just have to come together as we serve our community and all of these other small business owners.”
They have a message for the accused thieves.
“Going around and damaging people’s buildings and businesses, they know what they are doing is wrong,” Julie said. “People are trying to make a living and you’re just going to go around and break everything and steal everything.”
The owners hope those responsible are caught and pay for what they did.