Two armed bandits made off with $300,000 worth of diamonds and other valuables during the robbery of a Morris Park jewelry store just before Christmas, its owner said. Police are now investigating the case.
Two male robbers were accidently let into the Premier Jewelry at 1042 Morris Park Avenue at 12:30 pm on Tuesday, December 22, according to storeowner Mohamed “Mike” Rajeh.
A police report states that the two men, one armed with a black handgun and the other wearing a hard hat and hospital mask, tied up Rajeh and an employee in the basement of the store with zip ties. According to Rajeh, the two men plundered a display that included diamond engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings and necklaces, before fleeing.
“I have a buzzer system in my store,” Rajeh said. “During the holiday season, we often get customers that we are not familiar with. I went to buzz out a shopper, and two men entered while she was coming out.”
Rajeh said that the bandits were able to evade a multiple-door buzzer system at the store and get inside by pushing their way in. He said that he saw one of the culprits outside of the shop minutes prior to the robbery.
The owner said that his employee was able to break free from the binding and go back upstairs to the showroom, where she pushed a panic button. The 49th Precinct responded rapidly.
“It was a very fast response from the precinct,” said 49th Precinct community affairs officer Vic DiPierro. “We were at the scene in two minutes. The incident is currently under investigation by the 49th Precinct detective squad.”
A security tape in the store showed that the robbery took less than ten minutes, and that the suspects wore gloves, Rajeh said. He said that the men appeared to be either Hispanic or eastern European, but spoke without accents.
“I understand that the owner’s insurance may not cover the robbery, because it might have lapsed,” said Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association, who said that he had spoken with Rajeh.
DiPierro said that everyone was grateful that no injuries resulted from the robbery.
“The thing that we are all grateful for is that no one was injured and no shots were fired,” DiPierro said.
Rajeh also said that he is more concerned about safety than he is about any the items that may have been lost.
“People said that I caught a bad break,” Rajeh said. “I think I had good luck, because I am still alive.”
Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or firstname.lastname@example.org