A New York man is out $10 million in diamonds after they were stolen from a safe that he admittedly left unlocked.
Jonathan Birnbach told police that on Wednesday afternoon he discovered $5 million to $10 million worth of diamonds missing from the vault inside his business, J. Birnbach, Inc., located in a third-floor suite at 5th Ave. and 47th St. in the heart of the Diamond District.
On Thursday, Birnbach told detectives that he had stashed the diamonds in three wooden boxes and then placed them in the safe on Nov. 24, police sources said. He didn’t notice they were missing for more than two weeks, because he didn’t often deal with those jewels, he told investigators.
Sources said he also admitted that the safe is left unlocked during business hours to allow for quick access to other jewels kept in the safe and that contractors were doing work at the time the baubles disappeared.
Sources said the contractors will be interviewed and that police are looking for fingerprints other than those belonging to five workers who have access to the safe.
Police are also reviewing the shop’s video surveillance system, sources said.
“There’s nobody here to talk to you,” an employee told the News. “We’re not allowed to talk to you.”
An industry source said that as more jewelry is bought online, the jewelers based in the district have been forced to reduce costs, often cutting back on security.
Well…that’s certainly an expensive lesson to learn. If you have a vault, make sure it’s locked.