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Family-Owned Jewelry Store Suffers Million-Dollar Loss In Brazen Burglary

LAGUNA NIGUEL (CBSLA) – An Orange County jewelry store was hit by daring burglars in a heist with a million-dollar price tag.

"I'm hoping that the goodwill that we gave for 32 years is going to come back our way and I can already feel that already happening," said Nuggets and Carats Jewelry Store owner Brian Hassine, fighting back tears.

The family business, a shop that has been around for more than three decades, was wiped clean over the weekend. Every diamond, watch and precious piece owned by beloved customers was stolen in the brazen heist.

The safe was also emptied.

"It's a six-inch deep safe. It's got a plate on the outside that needed to be cut with some type of a laser or saw, and they had to cut away at the concrete, and then another plate they had to go through," Hassine said.

The jeweler has video clips of three people behind the Crown Valley Parkway store right before the power was mysteriously cut off around 8 p.m. March 23. It wasn't discovered until Monday morning.

Hassine wonders if the robbery is linked to one that occurred a week ago in Fullerton that was nearly identical.

In both cases, the thieves cut through the roof, used a rope to lower themselves in and made off with tens of thousands of dollars' worth of jewels.

There's something else that Hassine says concerns him.

"So they had so much time on their hands while they were in here because the alarm monitoring company did not call us at home like they were supposed to," Hassine said.

A second safe with money, jewelry and diamonds was also stolen. It appeared the safe was dragged from an office near the store's backdoor through the back parking lot.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact police.

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