Ottawa police are investigating another "smash and grab" at a high end jewelry store. It is the 6th one in less than a year. They believe at least two of the attacks are linked.

It's always the same method: one person rushes in with a hammer, smashes the display cases as 2 or 3 other guys grab and run. It is a frightening affair for those working there and those shopping.

Sarah Ainuddin was helping a customer on a Thursday two weeks ago when four men burst into her family's jewelry store at the Hazeldean mall.

“Four young boys walked into the store, split up and started smashing our counter,” explained Ainuddin, with Harden’s Fine Jewellers, “Thirty seconds and they ran out.”

They grabbed what they could and ran back out to a waiting vehicle, leaving shattered glass and shattered nerves.

“Definitely, it has a toll on people,” says Ainuddin.

The very next day, police believe the same four suspects did the same thing at a jewelry store on Greenbank Road. Surveillance cameras snapped several photos of them.

“In both situations, it's four people who came in, smashed and grabbed what they could and ran,” says Staff Sergeant Mike Haarbosch with the Ottawa Police Robbery and Break and Enter Unit.

The consequences can be devastating for these small independent jewelry stores; the loss is significant and some of them do not carry insurance insured because insuring each piece of jewelry is a complicated process.

“It's shocking,” says Shreesh Juyal, a customer of one of the jewelery stores, “especially in a nice neighbourhood and on businessmen who are not rich.”

This is the 6th violent jewelry store robbery since this one at the Carlingwood mall last December. In each case, the suspects have made efforts to disguise their identities but police believe the robbers are black males, in their late teens to early 20's. One man appears to have a cast or bandage or his right hand. Police are trying to determine whether all six cases are linked.

“We're hoping someone will call us with a name to help us resolve these investigations,” says Staff-Sergeant Haarbosch.

The owners of the jewelry stores certainly hope that happens.

“Hopefully they get caught sooner than later,” says Sarah Ainuddin, “before someone gets hurt in the process.”

Some of these jewelry stores have been robbed more than once. They are now looking at additional costs to boost their security.