NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A gunman stormed into a luxury watch shop on the Upper East Side Tuesday morning.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the heist at the A. Lange & Söhne boutique, at 785 Madison Ave. between 66th and 67th streets, was significant. The brazen armed robber was in and out of the luxury watch boutique in a matter of minutes – snagging more than $700,000 worth of timepieces.
“The point is he just walked in alone and was able to get away with this,” said Upper East Side resident Reeva Mager.
Police said about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, a man about 6 feet all, wearing a black Adidas cap, a gray jacket and blue jeans, walked into the store brandishing a silver handgun. He smashed several display cases and grabbed more than a dozen watches before running off.
No one was hurt, but people who live and work nearby are nervous.
“It’s frightening because, if you go into a high-end store, there’s that sense of vulnerability that you have, that one feels safe in this neighborhood, and yet things happen,” Mager said.
A. Lange & Söhne is a German watchmaker and has been in business for more than a century. Its pieces retail anywhere from $16,000 to more than $500,000.
The Madison Avenue boutique, like most of the upscale retailers around it, has its own security and many surveillance cameras. But that is seemingly no deterrent.
“It’s Christmastime. Even though there’s security up here, a lot is stores get hit this time of the year,” one woman said. “Last year it was Chanel. Then it was Basso, the fur company, so it’s constant up here.”
On Nov. 21 of last year, armed robbers carried out a brazen smash-and-grab robbery at the Jaeger LeCoultre watch boutique nearby.
In that incident, the robbers stole more than $300,000 worth of watches.
Police said it is too soon to tell of the two crimes are connected.
On Tuesday night, police were canvassing the area for surveillance video, which they hope will show the suspect’s getaway trail and lead to a quick arrest.