The daylight armed robbery of a Diamond District jewelry store has left the victims shaken up. One employee said to the Daily News, "They threatened us, they threatened our lives... You’re on this planet, and in ten minutes, you could be gone."
On Sunday, August 25th, police say three men posing as customers entered Avianne & Co Jewelers, a store popular with rappers like Migos, Big Sean, and Lil Pump, at 28 West 47th Street. The men were armed and tied up employees before stealing items. A worker who spoke to the Post said the robbery took about 15 minutes, "It was a horrific event because you have no capabilities, you can’t really do anything and you have guns pointing at your faces."
He added that the suspects didn't say much but were "very sloppy. Sloppy thieves because they weren’t in coordination. If one guy was saying, ‘Get their phones,’ another guy was saying, ‘Open the showcase.’"
Footage from surveillance cameras inside the store show the suspects pretty clearly. The police released a second video on Monday:
The worker who spoke to the News believed the suspects were wearing wigs, "When I saw they had wigs on, and a cowboy hat and a bandana, it just seemed like a Halloween costume."
Jewelry store robberies have declined, according to the NY Times. John J. Kennedy, the president of the Jewelers’ Security Alliance, said, based on preliminary statistics, robberies appear to be down about 40% year over year. He added that gunpoint robberies are more rare, "The laws if you are caught and convicted are much more severe if you have a firearm."
A fellow Diamond District jeweler expressed his disbelief that the store was even open on Sunday, which has less foot traffic. He said to the Post, "Who opens up on a Sunday where cars can park on the block and get away? It doesn’t make any sense to me."
Anyone with information in regard to the identity of the males is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, or on Twitter @ NYPDTips.