Cops: Gunmen Kidnap Fairfield, Conn. Store Employees, Rob $4 Million In Jewelry
MERIDEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – More than $4 million in jewelry was stolen from a store in Fairfield by masked men who kidnapped two employees at gunpoint from a home in Meriden, police said Friday.
Four armed men wearing masks and gloves broke into an apartment on Gravel Street in Meriden on Thursday and tied up four victims, police said.
Two of the victims, the manager of Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield and another store employee, were then blindfolded and taken to the store by two of the suspects, police said. The other suspects stayed behind with the other two victims.
One of the victims spoke with CBS 2′s Lou Young after a long night of talking to detectives.
“It wasn’t a robbery that lasted a few minutes in and out. It went for like over over two hours, an hour-and-a-half, two hours and you worried about your friends and yourself and everyone around you so, yeah, it wasn’t an easy one,” Antoine Abedui said.
Once at the store, the victims were forced to open the door. Within five minutes, the suspects then stole “a substantial amount of jewelry” from the safe and fled, Meriden Police Lt. Mark Walerysiak told 1010 WINS.
“You’re talking about between $4 million and $5 million. That’s quite a heist,” Fairfield Police Lt. James Perez told CBS 2′s Young.
The victims, who said they were restrained in the back of the store during the robbery, were able to free themselves and call police after the suspects took off in the manager’s BMW.
Investigators released the 911 call on Friday.
911 Operator: “Fairfield 911, what’s your emergency?”
Victim: “We just got robbed.”
911 Operator: “You just got robbed at Lenox Jewelers?”
Victim: “Yes and they’re holding hostages in Meriden…they followed us to Meriden.”
911 Operator: “OK, so it didn’t happen in the store?”
Victim: “Yes, they followed us to Meriden and then they took us at gunpoint in Meriden back to the store, they just robbed us in the store and they stole my car…”
The suspects back at the apartment in Meriden left shortly after the first two victims were taken to Fairfield, police said.
Investigators said they believe all four suspects were communicating and coordinating the robbery with each other during the entire time.
None of the victims were harmed, police said. The identities of the suspects are unknown.
The BMW was found Friday on Mill Plain Road in Fairfield after police received a tip, authorities said.
Fairfield police are working with Meriden police and the FBI to see if the robbery is connected to others in the northeast.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Meriden Police Department’s Major Crimes Division at (203) 630-6201.
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