Monday, May 29, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Lloyd’s Says it Will Cover $5M Jewel Heist

PALM BEACH (CN) - Lloyd's of London will honor a Palm Beach jeweler's claim for $5 million in losses from a gem heist. The jeweler on posh Worth Avenue sued after Lloyd's offered only $2 million on the $5 million claim, and Lloyd's agreed late last week to pay the additional $3 million.

The Jan. 11 robbery is believed to be the biggest jewel theft ever on Palm Beach Island. Lee Havens, owner of the jewelry boutique, received $2 million under his primary plan with Lloyd's and went to court for more.

Police reports state that on Jan. 11, an unidentified man entered Havens' store claiming he had a gun, though he never showed it. He tied up and gagged Havens, stuffed $5.5 million in gold bracelets and diamond rings into a satchel, and slipped out the back door without resistance, police say. The heist was done in broad daylight at about 12:30 pm.

Havens and his employees could offer only a vague description of the cloaked thief. The police sketch depicts an indistinct character: a hoodie-wearing white man in his late thirties, wearing sunglasses, with a strong chin.

Havens' hopes of replenishing his inventory were dwindling as Lloyd's investigation stretched on for months. His attorney, Marc Brumer, took pre-emptive action on Oct. 14 by filing a breach of contract complaint in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

Brumer says his client endured hours of interrogations under oath before receiving word from Lloyd's agents that they planned to honor the $3 million supplemental claim.

"It seems they've come through," Brumer said.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.