Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hit Booth at TEFAF: Watch the Video
The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.
According to Dutch police, around 11:30 a.m. local time, four men, unmasked, approached the showcases of British jeweler Symbolic & Chase, an antiques dealer specializing in 20th century European fine jewelry and objets d‘art.
The robbery was captured on video by onlookers and shared via social media.
One video shows one of the suspects taking a sledgehammer from his bag and smashing the display case open before reaching in to grab jewels and stuff them into a bag.
The other men stood guard, with at least one appearing to brandish a weapon and another appearing to spend the entire robbery trying to load his gun.
An onlooker reaches for a vase of flowers to presumably throw at the robbers but puts it down and backs away when one of the robbers appears to point a gun in his direction.
According to the AP, police released the two men Wednesday after an investigation cleared them. No additional arrests have been made.
“The robbery generated a lot of media attention. In the interest of [the] investigation, no more information can be released at this time,” said Dutch police.
“The situation is under control and the fair is still open to visitors and exhibitors,” it added.
“Dutch police were on site within minutes. Nobody was injured during the incident, which took place at a jewelry booth,” said TEFAF.
Un casse à la Tefaf Maastricht en pleine journée : des vitrines d'un stand de bijoux fracassé à la masse, deux truands menaçant avec des armes pour protéger leur complice. Ils se sont enfuis par le restaurant... pic.twitter.com/qY4ounavdf— La Tribune de l'Art (@ltdla) June 28, 2022
In an interview with the New York Times, fair attendee and robbery witness James Butterwick said though he couldn’t see what was stolen, it seemed the robbers were looking for “specific items.”
Symbolic & Chase did not respond to National Jeweler’s request for comment on the incident.
SEE: Some of the Jewels Symbolic & Chase Brought to TEFAF
The show will remain open through Thursday, June 30.
This year marked TEFAF’s first in-person fair in Maastricht since 2020. Organizers attempted to hold a 2021 edition, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.
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