NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The NYPD and the FBI have busted up a ring of robbers who are accused of breaking into ritzy jewelry stores, and stealing more than $1 million worth of watches, all up and down the East Coast.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported Wednesday night, the robberies happened from Virginia to Atlantic City, and Fifth Avenue. The heists were bold, but simple, according to the FBI.
The robbers would walk in, smash display cases with hammers, grab what they wanted, and run for a getaway car.
High-end watch stores such as Cartier and Borgata Casino were targeted, authorities said.
But time ran out for suspects Roberto Grant, 33, and Allen Williams, 35, when they allegedly held up the Cartier store at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street at about 12:30 p.m. Jan. 30, police said.
Along with three others – all of them wearing masks and gloves – the suspects allegedly used hammers to smash open a glass display case and made off with 16 watches worth more than $700,000, police said.
Sources said Grant and Williams were each wearing one of the stolen watches and the same clothing they had on in surveillance video from the store, 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported at the time. Each watch was valued at about $42,000.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said late last month that good police work and video surveillance helped crack the case.
Two others – Terrell Ratliff, 22, and Tyrone Dehoyos, 35, also have been charged in the robbery ring.
“From Cartier on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City, the defendants left no rock unturned, carrying out a series of brazen midday smash-and-grab robberies of high-end jewelers up and down the East Coast,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge George Venizelos said in a news release. “It took sophisticated, modern crime fighting techniques to tie the heists together. Today, we see the result of diligent work by law enforcement from Virginia to New York to stop this violent, skilled crime syndicate.”
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the suspects “will now face the consequences of their violent shopping spree.”
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