The safe inside Princess Jewelry in North Stafford, Virginia was made of metal and three inches of concrete -- but it wasn't tough enough to ward off jewel thieves.
In an elaborate heist, thieves recently stole more than $500,000 worth of jewelry from the store's safe, breaking through a wall the business shares with a vacant storefront.
The thieves cut through a fence, broke into the neighboring business and then cut holes in strategic spots of a wall Princess shares with the space next door. The intruders disabled the phone line, Internet and security system, worked their way into the safe and disappeared with a huge haul.
"If they can do this to us, they can do it to anyone," owner Dan Nguyen said.
"It certainly does appear, whether [the thieves] were from this area or not, that they were certainly well prepared," Stafford County Sheriff's Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said.
Two similar burglaries are being investigated in nearby Fairfax County, but it's not clear yet whether the three crimes are related.
In the meantime, the family that's owned the business for 26 years is devastated.
"This is my wife's baby here, she put her heart and soul into it," Nguyen said.