Evidence, but no solid leads in $500K rest stop jewelry heist

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Authorities say they have found evidence, but have no solid leads into who may have stolen half a million dollars' worth of diamonds and jewels from a southeastern Minnesota rest area earlier this month.

Employees with Direct Diamond Importers of Iowa were on their way back from a trade show in Chicago when they stopped at a rest area on Interstate 90 in Olmsted County, the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office said Monday, according to KIMT.

That’s when the suspects, believed to be men, pulled up behind their vehicle, jumped out and began smashing the car’s windows. The suspects grabbed three or four suitcases from the vehicle, which were filled with gold and silver jewelry and loose diamonds.

Authorities found the suspects' van not long after the robbery and on Friday Chatfield police found a suitcase containing jewelry display items off Highway 52 and County Road 7, WXOW says.

Direct Diamond Importers issued a statement Monday morning saying the business had been to the trade show many times before and "this was a planned attack," the Rochester Post Bulletin reports. Police have also said it was orchestrated.

The company says it hasn't fully assessed how much was taken, but police estimated last week it's worth at least $500,000, ABC 6 notes.

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI are investigating the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call Rochester Crimestoppers at 800-222-8477.

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