Police said that a trio of thieves made off with almost $1 million worth of jewelry in a high-end Manhattan heist that involved the suspects targeting their victim while pretending to walk dogs or talk on the phone.
In a heist that seemed ripped straight out of a Hollywood script, but impacted very real victims, two men and a woman worked together to plot the robbery at the Chelsea store on June 19, according to police. The pricey items — including watches, diamond earrings and Tiffany rings — were on display here at Metropolitan Pavillion.
The three thieves can be seen on video carrying out their plan: One of the men parks a car, even feeds the meter, while the other goes inside the Pavillion and sets his sights on the victim. The woman keeps an eye out as she walks a small white dog.
Police say the trio surveilled the jeweler for more than an hour, even taking turns walking the dog. Suddenly a thumbs up, just as a 70-pound bag of jewelry is loaded into the car, with the thieves making their strike.
The victim is an immigrant who sold her home and opened the family jewelry store in Manhattan.
“It’s 30 years collecting all these pieces, it just didn’t happen overnight,” she said, not wanting to be identified. The stolen collection includes antique pieces gathered over the span of decades.
“I just cry I just cannot believe what happens you know. Oh, I just can’t believe what happened myself,” she said. “I dropped. I can’t even stand myself. When I found out the bad was stolen, I thought the person who was working with me was joking.”
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The NYPD’s Major Case Squad is working to track down the thieves.
“Someone who is working over 30 years and collecting all this, and someone just taking that away — how are you going to accept this? It just disappears in a second, how are you going to explain?”
The victim hopes and prays she’ll see her valuable pieces again, pleading with the suspects to return her precious goods.
“This is very important. This is a family business that we are running and I have six children, I take care of all these kids and I’ve been collecting all my life, and if you can return this I really appreciate it,” she said.
Anyone who recognizes the men and the woman seen in the video are asked to call the NYPD immediately. A cash reward is being offered.