Traveling salesman robbed of nearly $800,000 in gold, diamonds and money

Four masked gunmen robbed a jewelry dealer in Lexington late Sunday, making off with almost $800,000 in jewelry and cash, police said.

Officers think it was a "targeted robbery," police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Monday.

"We think that the suspects had been monitoring the victim's activities, saw an opportunity to commit the robbery and took it," she said.

Roberts described the target as a traveling jewelry salesman. Police have not released his name.

The robbery happened about 11:55 p.m. Sunday in the 500 block of Wellington Gardens Drive, police said.

Roberts said the man pulled his van into the driveway at a house to visit some people there. He was accosted by four men who pulled up behind him with guns, she said.

Two of the men approached the rear of the van, broke out the window and stole three bags filled with about $700,000 worth of gold, diamonds and precious metals, plus nearly $90,000 in cash and checks, Roberts said. The total amount taken was $787,000, Roberts said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the gunmen followed the jewelry dealer, who was on a business trip, to Wellington Gardens Drive or were waiting for him, Roberts said.

She said the assailants "certainly did not pick him out at random."

Roberts said descriptions of the robbers are sketchy at best: four men wearing dark clothing. Police also don't have a good description of the vehicle they were driving, she said.

"The main thing we want is for people living in the neighborhood to call us if they saw or heard anything," Roberts said. "Also, if any residents have surveillance cameras on their homes and think they might have caught any video, that's the sort of thing we really need."

She said police were interviewing the victim to try to determine who might have known where he was going or what he was carrying.

"It's a very odd situation, very unusual for us here in Lexington," Roberts said.