An online robbery crew that raided a high-end Park Ave. Jewelry stores early Saturday snatched pricey jewelry and watches likely worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, police said.
The three smash-and-grab thieves busted their way through the glass front and side doors of Cellini Jewelers near E. 56th St. in Midtown at about 3:30 am The store is two blocks from Trump Tower and four blocks from the Museum of Modern Art.
Once inside, the crooks smashed three display cases and grabbed watches and other jewelry, the cops said.
After snatching what they could in less than three minutes, the thieves ran from the store to a silver sedan, police said.
Later Saturday morning, the store’s glass front door still lay shattered on the Park Ave. sidewalk.
A store worker who gave his name as AJ, 65, said he was awakened from bed with the news of the robbery.
“I came this morning and saw my crew standing out here. I got numb from the neck up,” he said. ”I’ve been in the business for 40 years. It’s not normal to happen here on Park Avenue. It’s not normal for us.”
The exact value of what was taken was unclear. A full inventory of what was taken was still being conducted Saturday.
The Saturday morning raid resembled robberies in the Bronx and Brooklyn where masked thieves run into jewelry stores and smash display cases with sledgehammers before running off with anything they can grab.
On May 1, a man in a black hoodie swung a sledgehammer into a window at M & NP Jewelers on White Plains Rd. in Pelham Parkway, the Bronx. After he bashed the plate glass window, the thief grabbed as much jewelry as he could through a hole in the glass and passed it to an accomplice holding a bag.
The next day, a half-dozen thieves hit Dorian’s Jewelry on Fifth Ave. at 55th St. in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. They used sledge hammers and a pick ax to smash through the front window, then stole more than $187,000 in gold jewelry. The crooks escaped in a similar BMW sedan and a black Honda Accord.
Cops believe the crew is responsible for 16 more retail burglaries in the Bronx and Queens since Feb. 25.
It was not immediately clear if the thieves who raided Cellini were the same crew in the Bronx and Brooklyn burglaries.
Anyone with information regarding the Cellini raid is urged to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.