UPDATED, Monday, 12.30pm:
A 41-year-old Naringal man has been charged with the break-in at a Warrnambool silversmith in Lava Street on August 29.
Police executed a warrant at a Geelong address on Friday morning and arrested the man.
He was interviewed and charged in relation to the substantial burglary at the Lava Street premises.
The man was charged with burglary, theft, breaching bail and remanded in custody at the Geelong Magistrates Court until a future date
Firearms were also located on the property which are believed to have been stolen in other burglaries. Investigations are continuing.
Police members from Warrnambool, Geelong and the western region crime squad were involved in the operation which led to the warrant being executed and the man's arrest.
"It's a very pleasing and the culmination of a significant police operation," Detective Senior Constable Richard Hughes, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said.
"This alleged burglary at the silversmith's premises was an offence that had an enormous impact on the victim," he said.
August: Warrnambool silversmith Bud Knackstedt has been left devastated after his shop in Lava Street was ransacked and gems worth $100,000 stolen while he was on holidays.
Mr Knackstedt, 73, said his life's work had been destroyed after a large range of gems and second-hand jewellery was stolen.
"This is my life. It's not just a job," the emotional silversmith said.
Detective Senior Constable Richard Hughes, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said a rear entrance to the shop was forced open while Mr Knackstedt and his partner were on holidays overseas between August 12 and 29.
"Offenders have removed gems and jewellery valued at $100,000," he said.
"Forensic officers have this morning (Tuesday) attended at the premises and undertaken exhaustive testing.
"This is clearly a targeted attack and Mr Knackstedt has been profoundly shaken by the offending."
Detective Senior Constable Hughes said it may be difficult for the offenders to off-load such select stolen items.
"We would like anyone who has been offered gems or jewellery to immediately contact Warrnambool police (5560 1333) or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."
Mr Knackstedt, who started as a silversmith in Warrnambool 44 years ago, said he found his shop ransacked on Monday afternoon.
He said his shop had twice been raided previously in what he described as opportunistic offending.
"This was a lot more planned. My security is much better now, but still they got in," he said.
"The impact to my business will be substantial. All my loose gemstones that I create jewellery with are gone.
"I source them all over the world. That's 40 years of collecting. Not only do I work with the stones, but I have an interest in them as well."
Mr Knackstedt said when he saw a gemstone he thought about jewellery.
"That's part of my life. It's part of who I am," the former business studies teacher said.
"I was making jewellery well before I left school myself. I also started the Thai restaurant here in Warrnambool 20 years ago.
"They took whatever they could. I have no idea how they are going to get rid of the stones ... I just don't know.
"That's been my problem for the last 10 years, as I approach retirement, how do I sell my gemstones? I don't know who could buy them."
Mr Knackstedt said the stolen items included diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires, as well as a range of second hand jewellery, including bracelets, rings and earrings.
He said the stolen gemstones were of enormous sentimental value.
"I just want them back. It's been a life-time of work," he said.
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