News

Police: Thief In Wheelchair Steals Watch From Stamford Mall Jewelry Store

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Talk about a bait and switch.

Stamford Police Monday afternoon looking for a robber who rolled up on an unsuspecting jewelry clerk in a wheelchair and ran out with one of the shop’s watches.

The whole thing was caught on surveillance video.

The suspect is seen talking to sales clerks on Aug. 2, 2014. (credit: Handout)

The suspect is seen talking to sales clerks on Aug. 2, 2014. (credit: Handout)

As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the security video was taken around 2:45 p.m. Saturday inside Sidney Thomas Jewelers in the Stamford Mall.

“It’s a shame that he takes advantage of other people’s other handicaps,” said Stamford police Lt. Diedrich Hohn. “I think they felt a false sense of security because he was in a wheelchair.”

In the video, you can see the man circling a display case at the store. He then chats with a clerk and rolls up next to a display case full of Rolex watches.

Another clerk joins the two, and the man then begins shopping.

The suspect is seen trying the watch on on Aug. 2, 2014. (credit: Handout)

The suspect is seen trying the watch on on Aug. 2, 2014. (credit: Handout)

The clerk behind the counter hands the man a watch. He tries it on, but rejects it. The man then points to another watch, which the clerk, wearing a white glove, hands to him. He scrutinizes it, but again decides it is not for him and points to a third watch. The clerk hands the man the watch – worth $27,000 – and he puts it on. He then twists his wrist a few times to check the watch out, and apparently satisfied, jumps into action.

Using his legs, the man pushes his wheelchair back suddenly, knocking one of the saleswomen away. He then bolts for the door. On the way out he encounters a security guard, whom he knocks down and attacks with pepper spray, according to police.

A security guard tumbles after encountering the suspect on Aug. 2, 2014. (credit: Handout)

A security guard tumbles after encountering the suspect on Aug. 2, 2014. (credit: Handout)

There was no comment from the people at the jewelry store when CBS 2 stopped by, but shoppers were as surprised as everyone at the robber’s modus operandi.

“That shocked me a lot – it looks like he really needed that wheelchair, and then all of a sudden, he just dashed right out like that,” said Yasmine Bahrani of Stamford.

The suspect is described as a black man in his mid 40s. He’s about 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, has no facial hair and is bald, police said. He was last seen wearing a shiny black suit jacket with matching pants and black shoes, police said. He was wearing clear eyeglasses that appeared to be prescription, police said.

The suspect left behind the wheelchair and a Fedora hat, which fell off during his escape.

Anyone with any information was asked to contact Stamford Police at (203) 977-4417.

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