Sunday, December 28, 2014

FBI seeks thieves of $2 million Liberty Bell ruby

FBI seeks thieves of $2 million Liberty Bell ruby

FBI seeks thieves of $2 million Liberty Bell ruby

This $2 million Liberty Bell ruby was stolen from a Wilmington jeweler in November.
This $2 million Liberty Bell ruby was stolen from a Wilmington jeweler in November.

Attention, pawnshoppers and bling buffs! If you come across an 8,000-carat ruby shaped like the Liberty Bell, find a phone and call the cops - and you'll be rewarded with riches you can put in the bank.

Thieves stole the 3.5-pound, $2 million sparkler in November from the Stuart Kingston Galleries in Wilmington, according to the FBI. Galleries owner Jim Stein is now offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the capture and conviction of the robbers.

Four robbers, armed with handguns and hammers, burst into the jewelry shop about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1, tied up employees, smashed display cases and escaped with the Liberty Bell ruby and "a large volume of high-end jewelry and diamonds," according to the FBI. They fled in a U-Haul and were last seen heading north on Interstate 95 toward Pennsylvania. Investigators believe the robbers are from or have ties to the Philadelphia area.

"The FBI continues to follow every lead in this case to its conclusion," said Richard A. McFeely, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office, which covers Delaware and Maryland. "We hope this reward will encourage anyone with information, no matter how insignificant it seems, to contact the FBI. We are interested in any information from the time of the robbery to the present."

Tipsters, who may remain anonymous, can call the FBI in Delaware at (302) 658-4391 or any FBI office.

The Liberty Bell ruby has a pretty fascinating history. According to the blog art hostage, which tracks art crime investigation, the ruby was found near Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa more than 50 years ago. It was chiseled into a Liberty Bell guarded by a bald eagle and framed by 50 diamonds, one for each state.

About this blog

Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

E-mail tips to DiFilippo at difilid@phillynews.com and follow her on Twitter here.

E-mail tips to Farr at farrs@phillynews.com and follow her on Twitter here.

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