NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man who tried to rob a Midtown jewelry store ran off empty-handed after his gun fell apart, police said.

The suspect walked into Rafaello and Co. on West 47th Street around 4 p.m. Sunday and asked to see a chain that was inside of a display case.

Owner Rafael Aranbayev, 61, went to the back of the store to get a key for the case, and that’s when police said the suspect pulled a gun on one of his employees and put it to her head.

“He put on her the gun… and he said this is stick up,” Aranbayev said.

When the 33-year-old worker screamed for help, Aranbayev said he ran to her defense, fighting with the suspect to get the gun.

“I want[ed] to take it,” Aranbayev said.

The suspect got control of the gun, and when he stepped back to use it, it fell apart in his hand, police said.

Aranbayev said the weapon was a BB gun.

The suspect fled east on 47th Street.

Rafaello and Co. is known in some circles as a jeweler to the stars. Famous clients reportedly include Jay Z, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, and Khloe Kardashian, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.