NEW YORK (WCBS 880) –He used to be somebody in the mob.
Gerald DeGerolamo had a reputation for pulling off creative armored car heists.
Now, the 65-year-old mobster is on trial for allegedly trying to steal a diamond engagement ring, valued at $30,000, from a man who was offering to sell it on Craigslist, WCBS 880′s Irene Cornell reported.
The victim, David Cushman, testified that he had several face to face meetings with DeGerolamo. During their last meeting in which Cushman brought the ring and was ready to make the sale, DeGerolamo allegedly sprayed him in the face with a can of mace and grabbed the ring.
DeGerolamo had found the seller on the online advertisement website and set up a meeting on Christopher Street to buy the ring on Dec. 26.
Cushman said he felt like he had stuck his head in an oven and that he felt like his “head was on fire.” The victim was able to grab DeGerolamo while screaming, kicking, and punching until a crowd gathered and a police officer came along to make the arrest.
In his mafia heyday, DeGerolamo, an associate of the Lucchese crime family, pulled off a daring $3 million armored car heist. That was 1989.
DeGerolamo has been charged with first degree robbery and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.