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Rare gem stolen from Rochester shop by minors is returned

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Posted at 9:20 AM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 19:30:36-05

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) — Police were investigating after two minors allegedly walked into a jewelry store and stole a rare gem.

It happened Sunday evening at Opalus of a Rochester on Main Street.

The stolen Lake Superior Thomsonite gem was found after cutting thousands of rocks like this. It was placed on a beautiful pendant — sitting on a hand display.

We’re told the two suspects stole it when the owner was only a few feet away.

Owner Derrick Sobodash said, “You know it’s the holidays that’s when this kind of stuff happens.”

One of the young men wore a light gray hoodie, the other in a Santa hat, but their behavior was less than festive.

They walked in Sunday evening and walked off with the pendant.

The pink stone is surrounded by crystals on silver, not diamonds or gold.

“Took a loop around the store, walked up to about the tree there, looked back and forth, came out here made another turn around, they stopped here, looked like they were looking at some stuff and then took off, didn’t say bye or anything.”

The owners noticed it missing less than an hour later and checked the surveillance cameras.

Sobodash‘s back was turned when the suspect in the hoodie grabbed it.

“Right now, we are already struggling to make rent every month because you’re a new business,” the owner said.

The store has been opened for six months and doesn’t have jewelry theft insurance.

Sobodash finds beautiful gems and makes jewelry, cuff links and tie clips with it.

A Lake Superior Thomsonite is rare and Sobodash says it doesn’t really have any street value, but the pendant was priced at $450.

“Found in the bottom of Lake Superior, they are a 1.2 billion-year-old stone,” he said. “I cut a thousand pieces and probably got three that were like that.”

Since then, 7 Action News has learned that the two suspects are minors and the stolen gem has been returned.

The father of the boys is working with the owner who said he will not be pressing charges.