COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — An Anoka County jewelry store clerk is recovering from a broken finger after a robber snatched an expensive engagement ring right off her hand. It happened at 4:30 Sunday afternoon at the Kay Jewelers in Coon Rapids. Store surveillance video caught the entire thing.

“Pretty brazen and it’s in broad daylight and it’s not as if it’s in a remote location,” said Anoka County Sheriff Commander Paul Sommer.

In the video, you can see the thief enter what appears to be to an empty store. After a few seconds, a clerk comes to the counter. Sommer said the sales associates were suspicious of the man because they think he might have been in the store the day before.

“They were a little leery because of his age and the particular type of ring he was asking to see,” Sommer said.

He chose an almost-$16,000 ring. A 1.6 carat princess cut Leo diamond set in white gold. The clerk put it on her finger and after pretending to check it out, the thief ripped it off.

“I don’t know that she fought back, but the force he used to remove it from her finger was enough to fracture the bone of her finger,” he said.

Investigators say when the thief ran from the store, a few employees followed him to see where he went. He ran to a white, two-door Toyota Celica and took off. Police have released the full video in the hope someone will recognize. He’s described at between 19 to 25 years old, 5-foot-9, clean-shaven with shorter sandy-blond hair.

A statement from Signet Jewelers, the parent company of Kay Jewelers, released a statement saying, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our team members and customers during incidents of this nature and we’re thankful that no one was seriously hurt. We greatly appreciate the hard work of the Sherriff’s Office and local media and support their efforts in locating the suspect.”

Investigators say because the ring is stolen, the thief could likely only sell it for a few hundred dollars. Most high-quality diamonds, this one included, are inscribed with a microscopic serial number, so if the thief tries to sell it, he could run into problems.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office at 763-323-5000.

Watch the surveillance video below:

Heather Brown