THIRTEEN security cameras were not enough to deter a brazen robber fleeing Queanbeyan Riverside Plaza with a $6000 on his finger earlier this month.
The man entered Dimitries Jewellers at about 4.45pm on Monday September 10, 2012.After browsing for 15 minutes, he asked to purchase a yellow gold dress ring featuring two rows of 10 diamonds at the front of the band.
Dimitries Jewellers owner Steve Stavreas said the man did not draw any suspicions from staff. The man is described as Caucasian, about 185cm tall and aged between 25-30 years.
"He just looked like a well-dressed public servant, he was very calm and casual you wouldn't suspect a thing," Mr Stavreas said. "The store assistant was ringing up the sale when he asked for a last look, he put the ring on, looked at it for a moment, checked no one was at the store entrance and ran out.
Staff members gave chase and saw the man get into a black Holden Astra hatchback that was waiting in Fallick Lane.
"Looking at the CCTV footage, we can see him send a subtle signal to his accomplice waiting outside the store," he said. "It was definitely planned ... he made a quick getaway."
Mr Stavreas said it wasn't unusual for staff to allow customers to try on jewellery. "It's all part of the shopping experience to be able to touch and feel the product, place it on their hand and see what it looks like on so we're quite vulnerable in that regard," he said.
"We do take precautions with items of a certain value, we ask for photo ID and some customers object but most understand the situation. The advantage is that in a small town like Queanbeyan the majority of our customers are known to us."
Mr Stavreas said the latest incident follows two attacks since May where a $5000 ring and $1500 chain were stolen and the perpetrator is still yet to be caught.
"This has happened three times this year so it's a substantial loss for us and what concerns us it the brazen nature of the attack, they don't even bother to conceal their identity. We want to alert the public in an attempt to catch them and this exposure if the best deterrent."
In the wake of this latest event, Mr Stavreas said the business will upgrade their CCTV system, set-up a website to show photos and footage of the criminals and train staff to identify suspicious behaviour and body language.
They will also consult with Riverside Shopping Plaza about the possibility of installing cameras in surrounding alleyways and the car park for more coverage.
"We have alarm buttons but our biggest deterrent is the use of cameras... they don't even hide their face any more," he said. "Our best line of defence is our staff but they're decent citizens and believe most of the people who walk into our store are also decent citizens.
"If anyone has any information that could assist the investigation they should contact police at Monaro Local Area Command on (02) 6298 0555.