The home invasion: It’s the worst nightmare of fine jewelry retailers the world over, and it played out in terrifyingly slow motion for a husband and wife—co-owners of a Union City, N.J., jewelry store—at their Lyndhurst, N.J., home the night of Nov. 13.
Three masked men broke into the couple’s home, shortly after they had returned home after closing the store. The suspects tied up the wife; while one man stayed to guard her, the other two forced the husband into a car. Police say they were waiting for the couple’s son to get home before driving to the jewelry store with the intention of robbing it.
The three men had clearly cased-out the family’s daily habits. “They pretty much knew the family’s movements, what goes on a daily basis,” Lyndhurst police chief James O’Connor told NBC.com.
The wife eventually freed herself and answered a phone call, asking the relative on the line to dial 911 immediately. When police arrived at the house just after 9 p.m., the suspect guarding the wife ran out the back of the house; police chased after him, but he got away. It’s believed that he called the other two suspects to warn them that police were on their tails, because the husband was dropped off abruptly in Clifton, N.J., while the car was en route to the jewelry store.
The victim flagged down a police car and was admitted into the hospital for cuts on his head and face. Police told NBC.com that he was beaten in his home and then again in the car.
No arrests have been made.
The victims and jewelry store were not named, but aerial footage of the story on NBC.com showed a storefront with the signage Saint Augustine Jewelry, while a voice-over identified the shop as belonging to the victims. The business name does not appear in telephone or online listings.
Experts in the jewelry security field recommend that storeowners mix up their daily routine—taking different routes to and from work, and at different times—to throw off miscreants who may be hoping to plan a heist around a retailer’s habits.
Here’s hoping the authorities find this trio of dangerous criminals—and fast.