It's been seen in the movies: thieves so skilled they can dance around even the most sophisticated alarm system. What happened at Steve Quick Jewelers overnight Wednesday may not have been quite as graceful, but it wasn't far off.
Despite an elaborate alarm system and other security measures, a thief got away with between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of gems.
"Whoever did this knew what they were doing, possibly had some inside information," said Steve Quick, the owner of the shop at 2471 N. Clark St. in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The crime began next door, with the thief breaking into Kabuki Japanese Restaurant. Once inside, the crook found a spot in the very back of the restaurant to tunnel into Steve Quick's shop. But that wasn't just any spot; it was the only sliver of space in the entire store not picked up by motion detectors, and it was big enough for a small person to lie flat on the ground.
"There is about a two-by-two foot, let's call it a tunnel under my desk that you could actually access the back of the safe," said Quick.
From that spot, the thief found a way to cut through the highest-rated safe on the market.
"From what we can see, he not only had a saw, but might have had some form of jack hammer," said Quick.
The robber reached in and took everything on the bottom two shelves of the safe, not once sounding off the motion detectors.
"Everyone who's installed or worked on our alarm system, everyone's been questioned," said Quick.
Quick said he has insurance and that everything is replaceable. He plans to reopen the location on Friday.
Chicago police have made no arrests in the case.