North Liberty jewelry store loses about $30,000 of merchandise after break-in

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 10:16 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - A jewelry store in North Liberty is facing its busiest time of the year without full shelves because of a break-in.

The National Retail Federation conducts an annual Retail Security Survey. In the latest survey, from 2021, about 69% of retailers said they had seen an increase in organized retail crime activity over the past year.

Unfortunately, Jewelry by Harold could be considered part of that trend.

On November 20, thieves broke into the store.

“In the afternoon, clear daylight, they started to grind through one of the security plates in the back of the door,” said Harold van Beek, who runs the store with his wife Astrid. “They smashed a whole alarm panel.”

Van Beek said he didn’t have exact numbers yet, but he put the damage at 70-$100,000 —about $30,000 worth of merchandise stolen.

And the theft could not have come at a worse time.

“December is our biggest month, December is 20% of our year— 25%, 30% sometimes,” said Astrid van Beek.

A break-in would be a big deal for any business owner, but the van Beeks already have a painful history with this kind of crime. It was a large part of why they moved away from their home country.

“When I had my store in the Netherlands, you know, we had two armed robberies,” said Harold van Beek. “That’s one of the reasons why I came to the United States because I felt like yeah, if it’s so easy, then yeah, I don’t want to want to be in the Netherlands anymore.“

While there may be a nationwide increase in organized retail crime, North Liberty isn’t seeing any sprees. Here are the number of business break-ins in the past five years according to the North Liberty Police Department:

  • 2018—10
  • 2019—11
  • 2020—9
  • 2021—2
  • 2022—4

The Police Department noted these numbers include break-ins at storage units.

Both van Beeks said in the aftermath of their burglary, there’s nothing to do but hope the people behind the break-in are caught and to push on.

“We have to just move forward and move forward and deal with whatever effect it has and just be better and stronger,” said Astrid van Beek.