NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The search is on for a group of robbers who police say stole $80,000 in cash from a man in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
Investigators say two of the men approached the victim near East 21st Street and Avenue U last Monday afternoon.
When the 24-year-old refused to give them his belongings, police say they pulled out a gun and grabbed his backpack.
Aman Walia told CBS2’s Dave Carlin the money was stashed inside of his backpack as he was taking it from the Woodstack Athletic Clothing Store to the Bank of America.
Police say Walia was robbed before he could make the less-than-a-block walk.
“I thought it was safe, but now I don’t believe that it’s safe,” he said.
With that kind of money on him, Walia had an escort; the store’s manager.
“One guy was waiting across there on the road,” he said, “And on the crossing he snatched my bag, then I snatched my back back, and after that the other guy was sitting here.”
Police say one of the males was seen exiting a black four-door sedan prior to the incident.
“he had a gun, he pulled a gun on the manager so he backed off. I was alone, so I gave in the bag and they ran down 21st Street,” Aman said.
Neighbors said they understand, that a gun would leave the store workers no choice but to comply.
“I got to give up the money than your life, it’s more important,” Estiven Cuate said.
One neighbor suggested Walia could have come up with a smarter bank deposit ritual.
“Wrap it around you — inside your clothes, or something in the backpack, not where somebody can take it,” Lucille said.
Walia said he now considers his company’s bank deposit habits too predictable.
“We deposit every Monday,” he said.
He said the $80,000 was from a week’s worth of proceeds at a total of six store locations, but he doesn’t believe it’s an inside job,
“I don’t believe that. We treat out employees so well,” he said.
Police said the focus is on finding the thieves, and figuring out how they knew Walia was the one to rob.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.