'Despicable' robber steals diamond rings worth $14,000 from store going out of business

LACEY, Wash. -- A struggling jewelry store in Lacey takes a huge hit just as it gets ready to close its doors for good.

Tony's Master Jewelers has been in business for more than 60 years, but a robber recently ripped the store off of two of its most expensive rings.

It’s already been a sad holiday season for the owner and employees of the store.

“I`ve owned the store for 20 years and have been working in it for 38,” said Kris Taylor. “But with downturn in the economy and the condition of the shopping center, we had to make the decision to close.”

Everything in the store is being liquidated, and priced to sell. But the deals were apparently not good enough for one man recently who claimed to be getting married and in the market for a pair of rings.

Tucker Rzepecki was helping the so called customer when he asked to see two diamond wedding rings worth more than $14,000.

“He wanted to see them side by side,” said Rzepecki. “As soon as I showed them side by side, he grabbed them and ran out the door.”

Surveillance cameras captured the crime from several different angles. The suspect is a black man, about 5’8, bald, with a goatee. He ran into a car that was waiting for him. It was a blue, early 2000's Oldsmobile Aero, with a white male driving.

Rzepecki called the crime a kick in the teeth to the employees and owner at a time when the business is closing a historic run in Lacey, and the future for everyone involved remains unknown.

“To grab such valuable item as he did at a time when we`re trying to cut our losses, and bring things to an end, makes it a much more bitter end.”