When JEM Jewellers owner Jan Martin reopened the store a week after an armed robber stole more than half her inventory, zip-tied three of her employees and held a handgun to their heads, she said she was still in shock.
“Obviously, we are devastated and our employees are suffering because he held a gun to their head and threatened several times and tied them up. We are hoping the police can find the person responsible,” said Martin, a Carmel resident.
Martin said a black male wearing a red, puffy coat entered the store without a mask at approximately 10:30 a.m. March 26. Three employees were zip-tied. After the suspect fled the scene, an employee ran to Salon Lofts nearby to call 911.
“He zip-tied them so they had scrapes and bruises from him pushing them around,” Martin said. “He took a lot of things. Well over half of our inventory – jewelry, gold, diamonds, every engagement ring we had.”
Martin said a witness saw the suspect get dropped off and then flee to the nearby neighborhood after the robbery.
JEM Jewellers reopened for business April 2 with new security, new cameras and a new door system. When the robbery occurred, there were no working cameras.
“I just think we all need to be more aware,” Martin said.
Martin said she’s trying to look on the bright side, noting the suspect didn’t steal any of the customers’ jewelry.
“I had all the customer jewelry in a separate area in a safe, and he didn’t take that box. So, the only thing he took was our own inventory,” Martin said. “I’m trying to look on the bright side. No one was hurt, and I would’ve been devastated if I had lost someone’s jewelry.”
However, one concern Martin has is she has heard from people they are afraid to visit JEM Jewellers again.
“I’ve had a couple of people say to me, ‘I’m afraid to come in here now,’ and that’ll close my business for sure,” she said. “We are trying to move on.”
Investigators declined to reveal details about the investigation. Current in Westfield submitted a records request to the Westfield Police Dept. for more information on the investigation. As of press time, the report had not been received.