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Jewel thieves pull off $6 million score from Manhattan wholesaler as ball dropped on New Year’s Eve

January 3, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Jewel thieves pull off $6 million score from Manhattan wholesaler as ball dropped on New Year’s Eve

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A band of Jewel thieves in Midtown Manhattan waited for midnight to pull off a $6 million heist on New Year’s Eve.

The three masked and hooded men broke into a jewelry wholesaler on West 36th Street at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday in what appears to be an inside job — as 7,000 cops were occupied protecting Times Square attendees just a couple of blocks away.

The police source said the burglars “100%” plotted the heist to coincide with the ball drop, The New York Post reported.

They fled with approximately $6 million in gems and have not been found.

The thieves were caught on security footage inside Gregg Ruth, a wholesale jewelry store known for its rare pink and yellow diamonds. One of the criminals, a bearded white male in a hood and wearing no mask, looked straight into the camera during the incident.

The suspects reportedly broke in through a freight entrance to the business on the sixth-floor and then used a hammer and crowbar to break open a lock. This led them to gain access to a room with four safes.

The gloved jewel thieves took diamond-encrusted and 18 karat gold earrings, bracelets, and necklaces from two of the safes. The cases were either already unlocked, or the suspects knew the combination, and they proceeded to pack the expensive merchandise into several backpacks.

The two suspects unopened vaults contained another $7 million in jewelry, according to sources. The safes were on loan to the business, who was in the process of constructing a more secure vault.

The video shows one of the suspects on a cell phone while he is unlocking the safe, perhaps getting the combination from a fourth person.

“It’s weird to me that they randomly tried that floor in this building. How would somebody know to come here? That’s real fishy” a worker in the building told the New York Post.

“It seems like an inside job,” the worker said. “The timing is weird too.”

The robbery was reported to authorities at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

A security guard was stationed in front of the jewelry business on Monday. “They said, ‘Keep us safe,’” he told The New York Post about his directions from the owner, adding that the business had no security officers guarding the premises before the incident.

A third individual who works in the building said the owner was probably “embarrassed” by the event. “It’s a black eye for their company. They couldn’t secure it. That money, a lot of money—it’s embarrassing.”

The jeweler specializes in rare colored diamonds and imported stones, worth up to $150,000 each.

Anyone with information about the heist is asked to contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-8477.

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