Family Jewels Stolen From Bride 2 Weeks Before Wedding Amid Burglary Spike – DNAinfo

 Rachel Tepper, 28, lost almost all her valuable jewelry in the burglary that took place Aug. 24.

Thieves Steal Valuable Family Jewelry From Brooklyn Bride

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CARROLL GARDENS — A Brooklyn bride’s family jewelry worth thousands of dollars was looted from her home just weeks before her wedding amid a significant spike in local burglaries.

Rachel Tepper, 28, had roughly $20,000 in jewelry taken from her Third Street apartment on Aug. 24 while she was at work and her fiance was away from their home, according to Tepper and police reports. 

Tepper, a food editor at Yahoo!, said she was horrified when she walked into her apartment and discovered her jewelry, most of which were family heirlooms, had been taken. The couple also lost roughly $8,000 in laptops, cameras, lenses and cash, she told DNAinfo New York. 

The incident took place two weeks before her wedding in Fairplay, Maryland to fiance Jon Paley, a documentary filmmaker.

“We haven’t been sleeping,” Tepper said. “I keep having nightmares someone’s breaking into the apartment.”

Almost all of the jewels taken were ancestral pieces handed down by her grandmothers and her mother, she said. 

The stolen items included a pair of diamond studs she had planned to wear for her wedding, a hummingbird necklace encrusted with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, as well as a ring that was given to her by her now-deceased grandmother that Tepper wore every day before she got engaged.

“That’s the one ring I remember being on her finger,” Tepper said.

“I just don’t even care about the money,” she said. “Every time I think about how I’m never going to see that ring again, I just feel sick.”

Thieves entered the apartment through the front door but did not damage it, according to the police report. While there is a lock on the door, it sometimes catches and prevents the door from closing all the way, Tepper said.

Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens have recently faced a string of home burglaries. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 16, the 76th Precinct has seen 91 burglaries compared to 51 in the same period last year. That’s a 78.4 percent spike, according to the most recent NYPD data. 

Capt. Elliot Colon, the precinct’s commanding officer, said many recent incidents have involved thieves climbing fire escapes and entering apartments through the rear windows.

“Burglars are opportunists,” Colon said Tuesday. “They see an open window, nobody’s around, they’re going to go for it.” 

No arrests had been made in the Tepper burglary as of Tuesday night.

Along with her apartment, a neighbor was also burglarized — the only two units that were struck in the four-story building. 

More than $7,000 in valuables were stolen from her neighbor, including filmmaking equipment and jewelry, according to the police report.

Tepper has so far documented 42 pieces of jewelry that were stolen from her and those are just the ones she can recall. While the couple has renter’s insurance, it only covered about $5,000 of the irreplaceable jewels.

“You never think this is going to happen,” she said. “It’s like the universe is trying to see where my breaking point is.”

While the investigation is ongoing, Tepper is doing everything she can to find her valuables. She’s asked friends to search pawn shops and she’s frequently checking Craigslist and eBay. She’s also posted a plea on Reddit in hopes of someone recognizing her jewels.

“I know in my heart of hearts that Carroll Gardens is a safe place,” she said, “[but] it’s hard to feel totally safe in my apartment.”

The NYPD offers free security surveys for homes and businesses. To avail this service, contact Police Officer Carl Bredy at 718-834-3203 at the 76th Precinct’s Crime Prevention Unit.