Manhunt on for suspects in $4 million New York City jewelry store robbery
NYPD(NEW YORK) — They took the baubles but left the bubbly.
A manhunt for a threesome of armed robbers stretched into its second day on Monday after they brazenly held up a jewelry store in the middle of New York City’s Diamond District and made off with high-end watches, gold rings, necklaces and other sparkly ornaments, but left behind shelves lined with bottles of champagne, police said.
The brazen heist at Avianne & Co. Jewelers unfolded midday Sunday, and sources told ABC New York station WABC-TV that the heist appeared to net the thieves an estimated $4 million in loot.
As of Monday afternoon, no arrests had been made, police said, for the store that portrays itself on its website as “leading celebrity jewelers” with clientele including rappers Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
Around noon on Sunday, the three robbers were buzzed through the locked glass door of the store on West 47th Street in Midtown Manhattan initially posing as customers and inquiring about purchasing jewelry, New York Police Department officials said in a statement.
The robbers, according to police, brandished firearms and forced four employees into a back room before tying them up with zip-ties and duct tape.
Eli Arih told WABC that he spoke to one of the victims, a friend, who told him the robbers forced the shop’s owner to open the store’s safe.
“He said, ‘Thank God nobody was injured,'” Arih said about his friend. “He said he’s happy to be alive.”
Security video from inside the store showed the thieves pointing handguns at the workers and apparently ordering them to lie on the floor as they cleaned out display cases. None of the robbers wore masks, and police asked the public to contact detectives if they recognized the thieves, whose faces were clearly visible in the security footage.
The video shows the robbers packing jewelry in duffel bags, but apparently ignoring shelves lined with pricey bottles of champagne and liquor.
One of the robbers sporting dreadlocks was wearing a dark blue suit and a gray fedora, while another bearded bandit had on a black bucket hat, and the third suspect wore a red, white and black bandanna.
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