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$2M worth of jewelry stolen from Va store

Friday - 1/6/2012, 1:16pm  ET

HENRICO, Va. - A Henrico County jewelry store could close after burglars broke in and took more than $2 million worth of inventory.

Owner Gary B. Baker said the theft occurred while Beverly Hills Jewelers Ltd. was closed for the holidays. The burglars disabled the store's security system and cut through the doors of safes.

"They took everything," Baker told media outlets Thursday.

"Some of the Henrico investigators told me they haven't seen anything like this in 50 years," he said.

Baker said his inventory was not insured and he likely will have to close the business. He dropped his insurance coverage years ago after he spent years of legal fighting to collect on a policy after a small loss.

His store also does not have surveillance equipment, a decision he attributes to a gunbattle in 1994 between two armed robbers who came into the store and Baker, his brother, Charles, and a store employees, who also were armed. Both robbers were killed.

"I don't have in-store surveillance because I didn't want film of someone being shot or for my family to ever have to witness on film me being shot to death," Baker said.

"I'm not the sort who's going to kneel on the floor and take a bullet in the back of the head."

Baker, 62, does not know whether he will reopen his 25-year-old business.

"I'm still here and so are my employees, but what has been taken is what I've worked to leave to my children and grandchildren," he said. "All that is gone."

"If it was 25 years ago, I could do it," he said. "Now I just feel like it's too much to start over."

Henrico police are investigating the theft but would not provide details.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)