More than $1 million in jewels, gems stolen from jeweler during event at NRG Center

Here's what we know

HOUSTON – One jeweler and his family in Houston are devastated over the loss of more than $1 million in gems and diamonds after investigators said a thief took off with them Sunday evening at the NRG Center.

Iftikhar Sayed has had a passion for jewelry for decades. He started his business, Sayed Creations, in 1982. His joy is finding the perfect piece for people for their most precious milestones.

“I selected each of those gems, every piece,” Sayed said. “I can remember every piece right now... the gems, the diamonds, the rings.”

Sunday, Sayed was showcasing and selling at the International Gem & Jewelry Show in Houston, which was taking place at NRG Center. Sayed was known to love helping people.

“When I see a good smile on a customer’s face. When I deliver something and get excited, they feel so good about it and that makes me feel out of this world,” Sayed said.

However, a great day turned into a nightmare.

The event portion of the show had concluded and Sayed and his wife were in the process of loading out after the show.

“This happened in a manner of seconds,” Josh Davis, a Houston-area attorney and Sayed’s son-in-law said.

Davis was with his family and father-in-law on Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day and how his support. At the end of the night, Davis said his wife received a call from her parents that a thief had stolen all of her father’s jewels and inventory.

“They had packed up. The show was over and all of the customers and attendees that came should have been let out,” Davis said.

Sayed went to get the car.

“My wife mentioned there was a time she turned around for maybe a few seconds,” Sayed said.

When Sayed returned with the car, he found that his carry-on suitcase of inventory -- more than $1 million worth of jewels and diamonds -- gone. His wallet and jacket were gone, too.

David said he filed a report with the Houston Police Department and the constable’s office.

He also said limited surveillance video shows the thief walking right out the front door and driving off.

Davis and Sayed were concerned about the security and lack of indoor cameras at the event.

“We’re really concerned and are investigating if we’re supposed to have restricted access in this kind of environment for that exact reason. How was this individual allowed to remain on the premises?” Davis asked.

“It takes so much to collect... and to see everything vanish... It’s your entire life savings. It’s gone,” Sayed said.

Now, at 72 years old and with no insurance for his inventory, Sayed said he is having a hard time imagining that he will have to start over. His son-in-law and attorney said the family hopes any witnesses who might have seen what happened will come forward.

“We have been praying. We know there are angels, miracle workers all over the city of Houston,” Davis said. “I see it week in and week out. Perhaps, it’s possible that there is someone watching right now that might be able to make a difference and be able to facilitate a miracle for us.”