RAMSEY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ramsey police Wednesday released surveillance images of two suspects who allegedly robbed a jewelry store.
The robbery occurred at Aydin Coins & Jewelry on Route 17 in Ramsey around 11:20 a.m. Monday.
The duo allegedly fooled workers into cooperating with them by posing as FBI agents.
“Both had respirator masks on as well as goggles,” said Ramsey police Chief Bryan Gurney. “The individual with the tie came in and identified himself as an FBI agent, showed some sort of ID.”
The two men indicated to those inside that there was some sort of a chemical concern.
“They were saying there was some sort of environmental issue — perhaps a meth lab or something on scene — and they were investigating,” Gurney said. But he said it was all just a ruse to get in.
After a couple of minutes, the owners of the store — two brothers who were there with their elderly mother — grew suspicious of the two men.
“Finally, the one actor pulled out a semi-automatic weapon,” Gurney told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
The robbers left three people tied up in a back room as they looted the store, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported. A number of customers were also caught up in the heist. The owners never hit the store’s alarm button, police told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
The suspects opened the safe and several display cases, and they cleared the place of its jewelry over a period of six or seven minutes.
Police said surveillance video shows two people — what appears to be a man and a woman — run by just as the robbers entered the jewelry store. Gurney said the two people could be potential witnesses who could help in the investigation. He believes the thieves might have told them to leave the area because of a environmental issue.
After he heard the suspects leave the store, the owner managed to break free of his ties and went to neighboring Buono Bagels and asked its owner to call police.
“The guy from next door got loose, came over, banged on the door – ‘Call the police! Call the police! We’ve been robbed!’” said Fred Greenberg, the owner of Buono Bagels. “Their mom was there. She had been handcuffed, tied up as well. I cut her loose.”
There were no injuries, and descriptions are vague because of the masks and goggles. One man was in a dark jacket and tie, the other in a blue jumpsuit with a hood.
Police describe the crime as a well-thought out robbery, and said they do not know of another like it in the region.
The amount of the loss has not been determined.
Ramsey police said they are in touch with the real FBI as they investigate.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Ramsey Police Department at (201) 327-2400.
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