Jewelry Crime Blotter: Week of Dec. 16

A weekly roundup of jewelry store crimes with related tips from JCK:

Suspect in Connecticut Jeweler Murder Seen in Philadelphia

Connecticut police are working with authorities in Philadelphia following up on a tip about the suspect who killed a Westport, Conn., jeweler last week.

A new surveillance video shows the suspect at a Philadelphia jewelry store in an area known as Jeweler’s Row.  The video was taken just three days before Yekutiel Zeevi was shot in his Westport store. The man in the video has been seen in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York. 

The suspect is described as a white male, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, medium build, age in the mid-40s, with short salt-and-pepper hair. He had three to four days’ facial hair growth at the time of the crime, and was wearing a dark wool driving cap, black-framed glasses, jeans, and cowboy-style boots with a zippered front.

Other key points regarding the suspect from the Westport authorities:

  • Suspect wears expensive clothing.
  • Suspect has been described as very thin build with a drawn face and “scruffy” facial hair.
  • Speaks very good, clear English and has been described as being American.
  • Suspect appears to be familiar with diamonds and is comfortable with jewelers’ tools.

(Photos courtesy of Westport, Conn., Police Department)

Armed Robbers Dressed to the Nines Rob New Jersey Jewelry Store

On Dec. 12, two armed men wearing suits and top hats robbed a New Jersey jewelry store.

The suspects entered Precious Metals & Diamond Trading Co. and acted as if they were making a last-minute purchase before heading to a formal holiday event. They then pulled out a silver handgun, knocked the owner to the ground, and made off with an undetermined amount of merchandise.

Local police said the men fled in a white four-door Ford Explorer.

Anyone with information should contact detective Michael Braun at 732-2470-0922, ext. 314.

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance Manual suggests jewelers tell unfamiliar customers that their insurance requires you to ask for identification before displaying high-end goods. Jewelers should also make eye contact with each customer who enters the store, greet him or her, and note his or her appearance.

Five Robbers Pull Off Distraction Robbery in Plainview, N.Y.

On Dec. 15, five people distracted a Plainview jeweler and made off with an undetermined amount of jewelry.

The robbers entered Toliro Jewelers Thursday afternoon, and two men distracted the jeweler by asking to look at earrings. Three women—whose faces were covered in scarves—unlocked the display cases and removed assorted jewelry.

The entire gang escaped in a light blue Dodge Caravan with an extended roof top, fleeing westbound on Old Country Road.

No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

The Jewelers’ Security Alliance calls this case a classic gypsy distraction theft. JSA suggests that whenever a large group of people enter your store at the same time, the greatest caution is required. All employees should focus their attention on the movements of the group, and no access can be permitted to back rooms, safes, and open showcases.