Surrey jeweller hit by sledgehammer gang who fled with 17 pieces.
Fairtrade jeweller Jon Dibben was targeted in a daylight sledgehammer raid yesterday, with key items from his Fairtrade Fairmined gold collections stolen from his studio in Surrey.
The jeweller runs a store and workshop space at Smithbrook Kilns near Cranleigh, Surrey. According to Surrey Police thousands of pounds worth of jewellery was stolen in the smash and grab raid which took place yesterday, November 7, at about 12.44pm.
Four men drove up to the Jon Dibben shop on the small retail site in a red Volvo. Three of the men wearing balaclavas and hoods got out of the car and went into the shop, where they smashed glass display cabinets with sledgehammers. They fled the scene in the same red Volvo, which was later found burnt out in Stovold Hill, near to Cranleigh.
Police are now calling for witnesses to the crime to come forward and contact Surrey Police, and have also asked the trade to be vigilant for the pieces of jewellery, which are not only unusual in design, but are made using, in some cases, Fairtrade Fairmined Ecological gold, bearing the dual Fairtrade Fairmined mark which is no longer in production.
Dibben told Professional Jeweller that 17 pieces of jewellery were taken in the raid, including a hero design of Dibben’s, the Fairtrade Fairmined Ecological gold Meadow collar, made with carved cabochon beryls, tourmalines and diamonds.
The Meadow collar took Dibben and his team more than two months to make by hand, piece by piece, including the stone setting. It bears Fairtrade, Fairmined and Ecological stamps alongside the standard hallmarks applied by the London Assay Office, as well as Dibben’s JKD makers mark. He has asked retailers, pawnbrokers and bullion dealers to keep an eye out for gold items, possibly with their stones removed, being bought it for scrap which bear the Fairtrade Fairmined dual mark. The stones themselves are also unsual, and include stones with detailed floral carvings, as well as classic cabochons.
A ceylon sapphire white gold Meadow ring and Fairtrade Fairmined red gold Meadow ring set with a plum-coloured tourmaline were also taken. The latter ring also bears the Fairtrade, Fairmined and Ecological stamps inside, alongside the standard hallmarks applied by the London Assay Office, and Dibben’s JKD makers mark.
A statement on the Jon Dibben Facebook page said: "Thank you for the messages of support and concern, after our sledgehammer raid. We really appreciate it. No one was hurt, which is the main thing, we are all just in shock."
Dibben emphasised that no customers’ items were taken in the raid, and the business is continuing to operate as normal.
An investigation into the robbery is ongoing and police are appealing for any witnesses to the offence or information about the car to call Surrey Police with reference number P13339659.