DOWNTOWN — Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a jewel thief suspected of stealing four Omega watches valued at $17,000 from a local jewelry store earlier this month.

The suspect is also believed responsible for similar thefts in Beverly Hills, where two high-end jewelry stores were targeted, the suspect walking away with rings and other jewelry valued in excess of $100,000.

The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, 5-feet-10 to 6-feet, weighing around 200 pounds with short, bleached-blonde hair. The suspect is said to speak with a Russian or European accent.

The theft in Santa Monica allegedly occurred on May 7 at the Jewel Shop, located in the 1300 block of the Third Street Promenade. The suspect spent time talking with employees and looking at merchandise. The suspect returned the following day at around 11 a.m., police said. While the employees were distracted setting up displays, the suspect removed four Omega men’s watches from a glass case and left the store.

The loss was noticed after the suspect left.

The Beverly Hills thefts occurred May 1 and May 7. The suspect was able to distract employees long enough to remove items, according to a press release from the Beverly Hills Police Department. The suspect appears to target only high-end jewelry stores.

Detectives are hopeful that someone will come forward with information leading to the arrest of the suspect. Surveillance photos are available at the SMPD’s Web site, www.santamonicapd.org. Anyone with information is asked to contact SMPD Detective Chad Goodwin at (310) 458-8942, or the on duty Watch Commander at (310) 458-8427.