Thieves smashed the windows of a van coming back from a jewelry trade show in Chicago and stole at least $500,000 worth of diamonds in a dramatic heist outside of Rochester Sunday night.
The Olmstead County Sheriff's Office is working with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to try to track down four male suspects and has asked the FBI for help with the case.
According to Scott Behrns, an Olmstead County captain, five of the seven employees traveling in the van were using the bathroom at a rest stop on I-90 outside of Rochester when the robbery occurred.
The suspects' van pulled up and four men got out, smashed the jeweler's van's windows, and grabbed "three or four suitcases full of loose diamonds and jewelry items worth at least $500,000."
"One employee who was in the driver's seat of the van immediately put the van in reverse to try to get away, fearing for her safety, and the victims' van and the suspects' van collided," said Behrns.
After the collision the suspects escaped in their van and ditched it about a mile west off of I-90. A police search using a K9 squad turned up nothing.
The only description police have of the suspects is four males wearing hoodies.
"If someone was traveling and saw something suspicious, something that made them say, 'hmmm that doesn't seem right,' we're asking them to get a hold of us through the Rochester Crime Stoppers website," said Behrns.
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