Four thieves police are describing as "very patient" pounced on a small window of opportunity yesterday morning and walked away with at least a half-million dollars. Officials near Rochester, Minn., say a van that left a diamond and jewelry trade show in Chicago on Sunday drove 350 miles over six hours before stopping at a rest stop in Minnesota shortly after midnight yesterday. A diamond dealer and four others got out of the van to use the facilities while two people waited in the van with the valuables. Another van then pulled up, and in 90 seconds four people jumped out, smashed windows, grabbed three or four suitcases filled with gold, silver, and loose diamonds, and sped off, reports the Rochester Post-Bulletin.
"They were waiting for a dark, remote location, and they found one at the rest stop," a sheriff's rep tells the AP. "We're dealing with some heavy hitters." The driver of the diamond dealer's van did reportedly manage to throw the vehicle in reverse and hit the side of the suspects' van, but it sped away on I-90 and the suspects, described as wearing black hoodies, ditched the van just a mile away. Local officials have called in the FBI. No weapons were spotted during the heist. (Earlier this year, a jewel thief in Paris gave himself away after he kissed his hostage, leaving his DNA behind.)