WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A family in Wilmington is scared for their lives after thieves broke into their home in broad daylight. The suspects stole thousands of dollars worth of valuables, and the crime is also impacting a local jewelry refinery, where some of the goods showed up.
Police say they already have a lead on the suspects. However, they're also investigating the Wilmington Silver and Gold Refinery because of how they handled the paperwork when they accepted the stolen goods.
The McGee family left their house on Wilshire Boulevard only for about an hour and a half on Tuesday.
When they returned, they found their home ravaged with many valuable items missing, including three sets of golf clubs, two computers, and precious family jewelry.
"They took all my jewelry, my mother's jewelry, my father's jewelry, my grandmother's jewelry," said Charlie McGee. "All the heirlooms that I was planning to hand down to my kids."
Charlie McGee spent the last 24 hours trying to clean up her home and regain her peace of mind.
"I feel so violated, " said McGee. "I'm so scared. I won't even take a shower unless Phil's here. I don't want to sleep here. I don't feel safe anymore."
The first place the McGees checked to find their valuables was Wilmington Silver and Gold Refinery on Market Street. The McGees say they spotted several pieces of Charlie's jewelry on a table. They asked the owner of the store for information on the seller, but he would not comply with their request.
A detective from the Wilmington Police Department says store workers failed to document certain things on their required paperwork. The store owner said the mistake occurred when the suspects wrote down the wrong driver's license number on the paperwork. However, police investigators have not confirmed those details.
Detectives say the jewelry store will receive a warning from the police department, which could lead to the owner losing his permit if it happens again.
Police have recovered some of the stolen goods, and the McGee family can expect to have the valuables returned when the investigation is complete.
Detective Merritt with the WPD says if this happens to you, call the police right away. He says that victims should not try to recover stolen goods themselves.
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