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Thieves swipe jewelry by the bucketful in Indiana

Surveillance image of one of three thieves who broke into a jewelry store in Hobart, Ind., and filled buckets with jewelry from the display cases, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 Hobart, Ind. Police/CBS Chicago

(CBS) HOBART, Ind. - Three thieves were caught on tape swiping jewelry by the bucketful at an Indiana jewelry store about 40 miles southeast of Chicago.

The men, carrying empty buckets, were captured on surveillance tape inside Helzberg Diamonds, CBS Chicago reports. 

The operation went off like clockwork, the station reports.

Around 8 a.m. on Sunday, a van, possibly a Chevy, with no plates, pulled up and three burglars got out. Caught on surveillance tape, they use hammers to smash covers on the jewelry cases. One used a mule kick to finish the job.

Then, the suspects began to sweep jewelry into large plastic buckets, first from the front of the counter, then from the back, according to CBS Chicago.

"It looks like they may have been there less than a minute," said Hobart Police Lt. Jack Greenes. "It was more of a smash and grab where they smashed the window, took some jewelry and took off."

The burglars left with buckets of diamonds and jewelry. They hopped back into the van and sped away.

"The fact this happened early Sunday morning is pretty rare, too," Greenes said. "You kind of expect your smash and grab burglaries to occur late at night, not in the middle of the morning."

Helzberg Diamonds still bears the scars of Sunday's burglary: There's a boarded-up lower window pane where the thieves entered.

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