23, Apr 2023
Man with hammer robs downtown Victoria jewelry store

A Broughton Street jewelry store was closed Monday following a Saturday-afternoon robbery by a man wielding a hammer.

A Broughton Street jewelry store was closed Monday following a Saturday-afternoon robbery by a man wielding a hammer.

Francis Jewelers is scheduled to reopen Tuesday.

Owner Rafal Zebrowski told CHEK News he was afraid for his life during the incident, which left staff and customers shaken. Victoria police were called about 3:45 pm

Zebrowski said he approached the man at first, “but after seeing that he had a hammer in his hands, I had to backtrack.”

“I told him, ‘I’m not going to open the showcase for you.’ Then he showed me the hammer, so I further retreated,” he said to CHEK. “At the same time, one of my staff members started yelling, alerting the goldsmiths in the back. They came out and confronted him.”

The suspect pushed his way behind the counters, broke into a display case with the hammer and took a few items. He then broke another display case and stole an expensive watch before being shoved outside by staff.

The suspect was yelling “I will smash you,” Zebrowski said.

The store has had an open-door policy but the entrance will now be locked until customers arrive, he said.

“That’s not the best for business because it may prevent some people from coming and enjoying our gallery, but this will be a necessary thing to do.”

The business has operated in the city for more than 100 years.

Downtown Victoria Business Association chief executive Jeff Bray said such incidents are traumatic for staff.

“Thank goodness that no one was seriously hurt, and certainly we are hopeful that VicPD can find the perpetrator and that the courts can actually take some meaningful action so that no business has to face something like that in the near future from this same individual. ”

The suspect is described as white and 20 to 30 years old with a medium build and a beard. He was wearing a baseball cap, a dark hoodie, tan pants and black sneakers with white near the soles.

He was also carrying a gray backpack and a black duffle bag with red straps.

Call Victoria police with any information at 250-995-7654, extension 1, or report anonymously to Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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