OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The owners of Moncada’s Gold Jewelry and Joyería Luz Mari were walking into their Oklahoma City flea market booths Sunday morning when they found their safes had been cut through and everything inside of them had been stolen.
Hector Moncada said he got a call Sunday morning from his mom who was in tears after opening their safe at the OKC Plaza SE 44.
“No nothing. None of the jewelry and that’s when we found out that it was stolen,” said Moncada.
Moncada said it was heartbreaking to hear how upset his mom was.
Another business set up close to Moncada’s Gold Jewelry, Joyería Luz Mari found themselves in the same situation.
Luz Morales’ sister called her Sunday morning as well to say someone broke through their safe and stole everything inside.
“I think more than anything, it was a shock because she’s [Morales’ mom and Owner of Joyería Luz Mari] done this for 27+ years and it’s never been to this extent,” said Morales.
Morales said $500,000 in gold jewelry was stolen.
“That includes jewelry that people put on layaway, so not only is the merchandise gone, but also things that people had chosen out specifically for an event for Valentine’s Day that they were paying off on. Now she owes them either cash back or another product,” said Morales.
Moncada estimates $240,000 in gold jewelry and cash was stolen.
“I would say that was part of my parents retirement,” said Moncada.
According to Moncada, the thieves broke in through the flea market’s back door.
From there, a small hole was cut into a wall about 15 feet from the back door.
Moncada said they then made it through several other flea market booths and ripped through their tarps dividing them from other businesses.
The thieves eventually made it to Moncada’s safe as well as Luz Mari’s.
Surveillance footage shows three men are huddling near a wall.
Behind the wall is Luz Mari’s hidden safe.
“It’s in a closet within her booth that she specifically made, you know, to be that way. It has a curtain over it so nobody knows that it’s back there. Before business really starts and customers start coming in, all the jewelry is out. Anything that she could possibly need is there, so she doesn’t have to go back there. Even if she did, there’s a curtain that people wouldn’t be able to see. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Morales.
Morales added those thieves cut through the closet wall, sheet rock, then the back of the safe.
The surveillance video shows one man was working to get to the safe, another was on the lookout and another on standby.
One of the men crawled to the surveillance camera and attempted to cover it, but was unsuccessful.
Moncada said their safe is also relatively hidden.
He said before his parents even open the safe, they clear the area to make sure no one is around to see them unlock it.
Both families suspect this burglary was an inside job as they say the suspects knew exactly where the safes were and how to avoid setting of the market’s alarm system off.
Moncada said the surveillance cameras show the heist started around 11 p.m. on Saturday and ended around 4 a.m. on Sunday.
A surveillance video shows what appears to be a newer version of a Chrysler Pacifica rolling up to the back of the flea market.
One by one, the three men jumped into the car and drove off.
The two business have filed a police report with Oklahoma City.
Moncada showed News 4 a case number in which it has already been assigned to a detective, but no word on the suspects yet.
“You really hurt a lot of people and even customers that are hurting and for my mom. We really hope to catch you and make you pay for everything that you took,” stated Morales.
Moncada is hoping his family receives at least some of the stolen jewelry back.
“We just want to keep on going with our business, you know. That’s all we want moving forward,” said Moncada.
Both businesses are jointly offering a $10,000 reward for any lead that results in an arrest.
Moncada said they’ll keep those leads anonymous if requested.