2:02pm Tuesday 10th April 2012
By Hermione Wright
Prince Charles has made a huge “difference” to the life of a Tottenham jeweller who lost everything in the London riots.
Stephen Moore, 57, owned the family-run shop, Paradise Gems, in High Road for 21 years before it was burned to the ground on August 6 last year.
The shop, which Mr Moore believes will never reopen, also lost £500,000 in valuable heirlooms after six out of 12 safes were broken into in the month following the disorder.
Mr Moore, who now cannot find work, met the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall in February when they visited Tottenham to see the destruction after the riots.
Prince Charles promised to do what he could to help Mr Moore, along with other traders who lost their livelihoods in the riots, and it seems he has stuck to his pledge.
The Prince, who is next in line to the throne, has kept in touch with Mr Moore over the last two months by sending regular emails to check up on the progress of the police enquiries.
The police today released CCTV footage of two men they would like to speak to in connection with the theft of the jewellery, which Mr Moore believes has come more quickly due to the Prince’s involvement.
Furthermore, a 27-year-old man was arrested on Thursday, April 5 in connection with the theft and has been bailed to return to a north London police station in late April.
Mr Moore said: “I think I made a particular impact on the Prince and he has made a lot of difference to my life.
“When I spoke to the Prince, he said ‘this is not right’ and got on to the police. Now things are starting to happen.”
However, Mr Moore who has a 33-year-old daughter called Hazel, is not hopeful that the jewellery will be returned.
He said: “I lost hope on finding the jewellery after the first month, so I don’t think it will be found eight months later.
“It’s good though that the police are finally trying to get on with the investigation.”
He said although some of the jewellery taken from the safes was for sale in his shop, most of it was pawned jewellery which people had handed into the jewellers in return for a short-term loan.
Most of the jewellery owners lost out on insurance pay outs because claims were put into insurance companies too long after the riots took place.
Mr Moore had thought that the jewellery was protected from the fire because it was locked in 12 strong safes he had installed in his much-loved shop.
It was not until September 5 that he realised the precious items had been stolen from the riot-ravaged ruins of his shop despite an eight-foot fence guarding the rubble.
He said he is unlikely ever to return to the High Road out of respect for his customers who lost cherished jewellery in his care.
He said: “I could have been back there four or five months ago but how can I stand there in a brand new shop when my customers have lost everything.
“These people have lost it all – their precious goods and heirlooms.”
The father of one had been in the jewellery industry for 35 years, previously working as an apprentice at a shop in West Green Road.
He set up his shop in High Road before employing his grandfather, father and daughter to work at the store over the past two decades.
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