Police Say Suspects Smashed Glass, Fired 2 Shots

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A trio of thieves in suits smashed glass and fired shots Tuesday in a bold broad daylight robbery at the Tourneau jewelry store on Madison Avenue.

One person was in custody late Tuesday afternoon in connection with the incident. Two others remained on the loose.

As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, three men wearing dark suits, dark shirts and ties entered the store at 53rd Street and Madison Avenue, sources said.

“Upon entering, one of the males fired one shot from a semi-automatic handgun into the floor,” said NYPD Chief of Manhattan Detectives William Aubry. “The other two males, armed with hammers, began smashing display cases, and removed several Rolex watches, placing them into duffel bags.”

Afterward, one of the suspects fired a shot in the direction of a store employee, police said.

“Two shots were fired, but luckily, nobody got hit,” said store clerk Ismaili Torres.

Customers were shocked.

“We were in the store and I heard two gunshots — that’s it,” said one customer named Maryann. “It was around 1 o’clock, and I heard like a pop, pop.”

The three suspects fled out the front door, running east on 53rd Street. Chopper 2 was over the luxury watch retailer as evidence collecting and a manhunt were at their peak.

Two of the suspects were also wearing black fedoras. One of the hats wound up in a police investigator’s hand after a suspect lost it while running away.

The suspects likely did not count on officers in plainclothes nearby. They chased the suspects on foot, and caught up to one of them on Park Avenue.

“A brief foot pursuit ensued, and one of the suspects with the duffel bag was apprehended on 58th Street and Park Avenue by the plainclothes officers,” Aubry said.

A man named Jimmy operates an ice cream truck parked on 53rd Street.

“I see an officer that I know running down the block after him, and I told him which way they went, and he was following them,” Jimmy told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Police arrested one suspect, and said he had stolen merchandise in a duffel bag that was later placed in evidence.

The search for the two remaining suspects sent teams of officers in to Central Park, into Bloomingdales, and down into subways.

“It seems like they knew what they were doing, so basically, it wasn’t the first time in the store the Rolex shop. I don’t know,” clerk Torres said. “But they knew what they were doing.”

The search continued early Tuesday evening for the other two suspects.

Investigators said one of the suspects is dark-skinned and very heavy-set, and the other is also dark-skinned with a medium build. The NYPD is expected to release surveillance video later Tuesday evening.