NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was an armed robbery in Manhattan’s Diamond District on Sunday. Police said a trio of thieves stormed a jewelry store in the middle of the day and got away with pricey items.
The NYPD said the suspects were armed with guns and tied up employees inside the store, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
Police haven’t said how much was stolen, but just by looking at the display cases, it appears the business was cleared out. The store’s employees told Fan police spent most of the day dusting for fingerprints.
The employees told officers the suspects initially posed as customers, entering Avianne & Co. Jewelers on West 47th Street at around noon. Police said at some point the men then suddenly pulled out guns, zip-tied and duct-taped the four employees. They made off with a large amount of jewelry in duffel bags.
Fan spoke to one man who said he was eating at a nearby restaurant when a man claiming to be one of the victims walked in dazed and shaken, saying his boss had been forced to open up the safe.
“He said they stole like $4 million worth of retail. He sat down to eat. He ate like really quick … You could tell like something bad really happened,” Eli Arieh said. “He told us, ‘Yeah, we got robbed. It was crazy.’ He said thank God nobody was injured. He said he was happy to be alive.”
Police haven’t confirmed how much was stolen. But the store, which boats a huge social media following, is known to create jewelry for celebrity rappers, including Kodak Black and Lil Pump.
Surveillance photos from a nearby business shows three men with duffel bags right after the heist. Police haven’t confirmed that they are the men responsible, but they match the suspect description officers provided. One is seen wearing wearing a red bandana, another a cowboy hat, a third a Kangol hat. Store employees told CBS2 on their backs are stolen backpacks with the Avianne logo.