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PETERBOROUGH

FBI still probing January robbery of Hobbs Jewelers at gunpoint

Owners reflect on the 6 months since $150,000 in jewelry, other goods stolen

  • Paul Hobbs, Jacquie Hobbs and Peggy Langevin of Hobbs Jewelers examine a watch for customer Nancy Macalaster.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Paul Hobbs, Jacquie Hobbs and Peggy Langevin of Hobbs Jewelers examine a watch for customer Nancy Macalaster.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Paul Hobbs, Jacquie Hobbs and Peggy Langevin of Hobbs Jewelers examine a watch for customer Nancy Macalaster.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Paul Hobbs, Jacquie Hobbs and Peggy Langevin of Hobbs Jewelers examine a watch for customer Nancy Macalaster.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Hobbs Jewelry, Peterborough, Paul and Marjorie Hobbs<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — Six months after they lost about $150,000 worth of watches, diamonds and jewelry in a brazen robbery, Paul Hobbs and his daughter, Jacquie, say their Depot Square jewelry store is completely back to normal. But they still frequently think back to the day when four strangers, one with a handgun, made Jacquie and her son, Curtis, lie on the floor while they filled white bags with the store’s merchandise.

“Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t talk to us about it” Paul Hobbs said in the store on Thursday. “Our customers have been great. We’re going to go on for another 50 years.”

The two men, wearing baseball caps and hooded sweatshirts, and two women who robbed the store late in the day on Jan. 15, shortly before Jacquie was set to close for the day, have not been captured. Peterborough Police Chief Scott Guinard said last week that the case is being investigated by the FBI, but there are no new details to report. About a week after the incident, police released a video taken by a security camera in the store that shows three of the four robbers. They were reported to have been driving an older model black Mercedes. The car had tinted windows and an out-of-state license plate, perhaps from New York, Connecticut or North Carolina.

Jacquie and Curtis Hobbs were not injured during the robbery.

Paul said the store has added to its internal security camera system, but that’s the only real change in the aftermath of the robbery.

“We lost quite a bit, but we’ve settled with the insurance company. We didn’t do too bad,” he said.

“Actually, Hartford insurance went above and beyond,” Jacquie said. “They were great.”

Jacquie said the store lost “every diamond we owned and a lot of 14-carat gemstone jewelry,” along with a brand new collection of men’s watches.

“We’d just put that line in,” Paul said of the watches.

“Don’t beat yourself up about it,” Jacquie said, patting her father’s arm.

“We were lucky,” he responded. “No one got hurt.”

Jacquie said outdoor security cameras were added outside all the stores in Depot Square after the robbery.

“[Depot Square owner] Cy Gregg was wonderful,” Jacquie said. “We asked, and those cameras went right up. It will be better for all the merchants down here.”

She said outside cameras might have captured a license plate number that would have helped track down the robbers. But Paul and Jacquie are confident that the robbers will eventually be caught.

“The police have a lot to work with. At some point, a connection will be made,” she said. “They do it again and make a mistake.”

“We’ll never get the jewelry back, but maybe they’ll be off the street,” Paul said.

Jacquie said there have been at least five other jewelry store thefts in New Hampshire in the past six months. One store in Manchester has now installed security gates, she said.

The Hobbses have added two more security cameras inside the store, but haven’t changed their work environment in any other way. They said the steady support of friends and customers has been wonderful.

“We’ve had cards and letters from people all over the country,” Paul said. “We’ve even had some new customers who came in after they heard about us in the news. Something good always comes.”

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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