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Southbridge Mall burglar bags bogus jewelry


This news story was published on April 20, 2011.
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MASON CITY, IA—Somewhere out there, there’s a burglar who got a lot less than they bargained for and they may have left some crucial evidence at a crime scene. Story by Dave Hansen, with video.|MASON CITY, IA—Somewhere out there, there’s a burglar who got a lot less than they bargained for and they may have left some crucial evidence at a crime scene.

On Tuesday, Mason City Southbridge Mall management knew they had a problem when their mall walkers reported a lot of glass on the floor in front of The Diamond Store.

Someone had smashed out 2 windows in order to gain entrance to the store and its displays.

Turns out thief or thieves came from above.

Police discovered that someone had gained entrance through a rooftop door above the Mason City Drive-In Theatre Museum overnight.

Their search for something valuable took them downstairs, where museum owner Craig Binnebose figures that he lost a few rare drive-in speakers for use in cars.

“It kind of makes you feel violated,” said Binnebose after surveying his losses.

But he is more upset over damage done to a rare prop that was in the Flintstones live action movie production.

It is the foam, horn shaped drive-in speaker used by actor John Goodman in the film.

Police found it abandoned on the roof with some scratches.

“That really makes me mad because there is no way to restore it, I can’t imagine it would be very cheap, it is a one of a kind object,” said Binnebose.

But the intruder soon cast their gaze across the hall from the museum to Bergo’s Min-Mall.

More specifically, they were interested in what was in The Diamond Store’s front window.

Someone used a piece of wood breakout a window on the Mall’s door and then a second window to get into The Diamond Store.

The intruder grabbed some displays and stopped just short of triggering the store’s burglar alarm before they left.

“It was a shock,” said Denise Vikturek, who says she and her husband have not suffered a burglary in nearly 20 years of business.

Vikturek is pretty sure that whoever broke-in didn’t know much about jewelry.

They made off with necklaces, diamond rings and some sterling silver, but most of it is not real.

“They were not “live” pieces of jewelry, we would never leave that type of value in a window overnight. They are samples called prototypes, so they have very little value,” said Vikturek.

Police investigators collected samples of blood from the scene and dusted other items for fingerprints.

The thief left movie monster models near the ladder leading to the roof and even left some large mounted photos behind as well.

As far as what she’d say to whomever is responsible for the break-in, Vikturek said “I’m sorry people are in a situation that they feel is desperate, but this is never the answer.”

Binnebose is vowing to seek compensation for his loses.

Mini-Mall owner Rex Bergo did not have a dollar figure on the cost of replacing the glass.

He said no other stores had been broken into.

Bergo noted that the last break-in was about 6-months ago when someone sought supplements at a nutrition store in his building.

“Each one’s different, it’s so disappointing. It’s what it is, it’s a part of life,” said Bergo.

Two young men who forced their way into some clothing stores were accused of breaking into the Southbridge Mall into at least 5 times last year.

The pair was caught after bragging about carting away garbage bags full of clothing and accessories.

Mall Manager Glenys Schloemer said they will “try to make sure everything is locked up at night. Those kind of people if they want in they’ll get in, it’s just irritating.”

See more on this video by Dave Hansen:



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