A modern-day Grinch made off with more than $1 million in jewels from a store in a chic Santa Fe marketplace during the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, police said on Tuesday.
Santa Fe Police detective Abe Maes said the suspect was caught on surveillance video looking into the front windows of the Divas Diamonds and Jewels store last Friday during the tree lighting, which draws hundreds of visitors each year to the Santa Fe Plaza.
The employees had their backs to the store while the ceremony unfolded, he said.
“It looks like the male suspect cased the store then took advantage of the crowds during the tree lighting ceremony,” Maes said, adding that the man took jewelry from a display case.
Detectives have released photos of the suspect and two possible accomplices who police say asked to see various pieces of jewelry inside the store on a previous occasion.
Store officials were unavailable for comment as the store remained closed as of Tuesday.
Investigators were examining the surveillance video and checking with pawn shops in the area where the items may be sold, police Lieutenant Michele Williams told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper on Tuesday.
(Editing by Curtis Skinner and Frances Kerry)