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Distraction Heist Like No Other Stuns Cops, Affluent Scarsdale Residents

Gang Members Run Interference, Steal $50,000, Then Offer To Help Pursue

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SCARSDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Westchester County are looking for a gang of thieves who struck a high-end jewelry shop in the middle of the day.

They’re so smooth, the victims weren’t even sure they had been robbed, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

The thieves struck in the heart of tony Scarsdale Village midafternoon a week ago Saturday.

“People feel safe here and to do that really takes away from the heart of what we are,” resident Carolyn Glickenstein said of the brazen robbery.

The three thieves were buzzed into Sam Lehr Jewelers calm, cool and collected.

“They were very low-key. The store wasn’t suspicious of them, which is why they let them in. They were pretty good at it,” Scarsdale Police Det. Tom Altizio said.

It was a distraction heist. Police said a big bald man played the interested customer, luring clerks to one side of the store, while a shorter man wearing a plaid shirt and a woman gravitated to the other end of the shop.

The woman is seen on surveillance video blocking an employee’s view as the man breaks the lock on the case.

“The clerk comes over. She heard the noise. She’s looking in the case. She sees that the rings are gone. He just goes to the door, leaves,” Det. Altizio said.

So the guy with the jewelry walks out of the store and down the street. That left both accomplices inside.  Police said the man then volunteered to chase down the thief and headed off in fake pursuit.  The woman slipped out in the confusion. Within seconds all three were in the wind with $50,000 worth of loot.

“It’s surprising. You would think a store like that would have higher security and it would be difficult to achieve a robbery,” Pelham resident Ellan Elia said.

But police said it wasn’t difficult for the three thieves. The surveillance images were circulated to police departments all over Westchester and Fairfield counties. Detectives said they are certain they’ve done it before.

Throughout the heist the woman in the video was on the phone with someone. Police said there may be a fourth member of the gang who was keeping watch nearby.

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