Thieves broke into a North Hollywood jewelry store early Friday and escaped with more than $1 million worth of watches, necklaces and loose diamonds, police said.
"It's the largest commercial burglary that I've ever seen," Los Angeles Police Det. Ted Knott said.
The theft at Valley Discount Jewelers in a strip mall on Magnolia Boulevard, near Laurel Canyon Boulevard, apparently occurred about 3:15 a.m., when the alarm company received a signal from the store that the system was out of order, store owner Krikor Kalajian said.
Kalajian said the company had not notified police of the system failure, and the burglary had not been discovered until about 6:30 a.m., when he arrived at the store.
Kalajian said display windows at the front of the store had been broken and an armored door at the back of the store had been removed. He said virtually all the jewelry had been taken.
Police would not describe how the thieves got in.