Surveillance images of one of the suspects

Yesterday, the MTA asked for the public's help is finding a trio of men who managed to steal $120,000 worth of jewelry from two salesmen traveling through Grand Central Terminal. According to the Post, "The ruse involved one con man following a salesman for hours on the day of the crime, tailing him for miles on his regular route from Chinatown to Midtown. Once at Grand Central, the thieves used two distractions to swap one of the jewel-laden bags with one of equal heft and appearance." Yes, just like in the movies!

Here's how the MTA describes the diversion:

MTA Police believe that on the lower level of the Terminal at about 6 p.m. on June 24, the jewelry company employees were transporting about 800 pieces of gold and diamond jewelry including rings, neck chains, bracelets, earrings and pendants, and about $2,000 in cash, in a black duffel bag. The employee with possession of the bag set it down momentarily to discard some garbage.

At that moment, the employee’s co-worker was approached by two men who created a diversion by dropping a $10 bill on the ground and informing the co-worker that he had dropped it. As the co-worker was occupied, a third man took the duffel bag and replaced it with a nearly identical bag that was weighted down to appear have the same weight as the bag containing the jewelry. After the bags were switched, the three suspects left the area separately.

The thieves then fled! MTA Detective Mike Alfalla said, "It was well-planned, well- thought-out and well carried through... It is being investigated as suspicious. I have rarely seen something played out like that." Naturally, an inside job is a possibility.

2009_07_gcjewls.jpgThe MTA police released these images of one of the suspects from the Chinatown subway station and said, "All three suspects were wearing light blue uniform-type shirts and dark colored work pants. The two suspects who created the diversion are described as being Asian or Hispanic men and in their mid to late twenties. The prime suspect, who is believed to have taken the bag, is described as a white or Hispanic male with dark crew-cut hair and a thin to medium build." Additionally, all of the jewelry was manufactured by My Oro and and is engraved with the letters "M O."