Jewelry heist frustrates antique dealer

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — “I had a dream,” Charles Williams said with a laugh.

And for Williams, that dream was to break into the jewelry business.

“We work very hard to run a good business,” he said.

For years, he’s been selling antique watches and rings at the Wabash Depot Antique Mall.

“We’ve got a lot of dealers, a lot of owners, and they put time and money into these cases,” Williams said.

But his case just became a case.

Around 3:30 Thursday afternoon, Williams said two thieves walked into the antique mall and stole $14,000 worth of watches and rings from his corner.

“It’s not what it means to me,” Williams said. “It’s what it means to all of us.”

Williams was not at the mall the day the heist happened. He said the staff on duty notified Decatur police immediately, but an officer didn’t show up to investigate until early Friday afternoon — almost 24 hours after the theft.

WAND News reached out to Decatur Police Friday night about the case. The officer on duty said the investigation report was not complete and he had no way to confirm when the original call came in.

“We just feel we need more protection,” Williams said.

The search for the thieves continues, but Williams isn’t going anywhere — because his dream of selling jewelry and his love of history remain as good as gold.

“We take pride [in our connection to history],” Williams said. “It’s part of our charm.”

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