SALEM - A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the conviction of the person(s) who broke into the Downtown Gems & Jewels store on Oct. 8.
The front door was broken in with a sledge hammer and the display cases were smashed, according to a store spokesman who said about $27,000 in merchandise was stolen.
Salem Detective Dave Talbert released a photo of a suspect that was taken on a security camera at a Canton Save-A-Lot food store.
"Evidence at the crime scene led us to this video," Talbert said Monday. "We're fairly certain this person is responsible for the breaking and entering."
The store spokesman said, "It could be someone who was passing through or someone who had been inside the store, casing it."
The man reportedly was driving an early 2000-model year tan Buick.
Downtown Gems & Jewels is licensed to sell and purchase precious metals and the spokesman said the break-in has hurt business because some people think the store closed permanently.
"Business is down at least 60 percent," the spokesman said, adding the store has been located at 11036B E. State St. (directly across from the Circle K store) for three years. "We are open," the spokesman said.
Anyone who recognizes the person in the photo or with information can call city police, 337-7811.