Police say jewelry thieves armed with walkie-talkies tunneled into Preston Highway pawn shop

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Police say they've arrested three men after they tunneled in to a local pawn shop and tried to escape with $25,000 worth of jewelry.

According to arrest reports, the incident took place just before 2:30 a.m. on Friday, at Cash America, a pawn shop at 4313 Preston Highway, near the interchange between I-65 and the Watterson Expressway.

Police say they were dispatched to that location after someone triggered a burglar alarm. When officers arrived, they allegedly saw three men -- 59-year-old Jose Arias, of Miami; 51-year-old Abel Rivas-Rodriguez, of Hialeath, Florida; and 52-year-old Maximino Hernandez-Mena, of Miami -- in the back of the business, trying to get into a car. 

Police say Rivas-Rodriguez and Hernandez-Mena had shirts around their faces. According to arrest reports, Hernandez-Mena had a mask, black clothing and a bag filled with jewelry. Rivaz-Rodriguez's pockets were also filled with jewelry, according to police.

Police say Arias was found with walkie-talkies.

According to the arrest reports, the men had used a sledgehammer and a pry bar to smash into the building, before tunneling a hole into the back of the business. Police say once inside, they "dismantled" a jewelry case, and filled their pockets and a black bag with more than $25,000 worth of jewelry.

Police said they used walkie-talkies to communicate during the operation.

All three of the men were arrested and charged with third-degree burglary. They are currently being held at Louisville Metro Corrections.

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