Jewelry store robbed on East Fordham Road – NBC New York


What there is to know

  • 10 masked people used bear spray to temporarily maim workers at a New York jewelry store before stealing nearly $1 million in merchandise and fleeing the scene, authorities say
  • Video shows workers and others rushing into nearby shops as a security guard grabs his face in pain. Passers-by on the street were also sprayed and a street vendor said he had to use milk to rinse his eyes.
  • Mojib Ullah, manager of a nearby clothing store, says he has worked in the area for 13 years and has never seen local crimes of the scale and frequency of today. He blames the pandemic and now says, “This area is getting worse and worse every day. They robbed the corner store three times. Across the street, burglarized last week.

Police are searching for a group of 10 masked individuals they believe carried out a sophisticated and coordinated robbery at a Bronx jewelry store, using bear spray to temporarily blind workers as they stole $800,000 worth of merchandise.

Video (above) shows panic on East Fordham Road after workers inside the store near Elm Place struggled to see and breathe, as horrified witnesses rushed to give them the water.

The robbery took place shortly after 7 p.m., when many businesses and businesses were preparing to close. The group fought their way into the store, which is when detectives said one of them brandished a gun while others were spraying. Other members of the group smashed store windows, filling bags with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and leaving glass everywhere.

Surveillance video showed workers and others rushing into nearby shops, as a security guard grabbed his face in pain. Passers-by on the street were also sprayed and a street vendor said he had to use milk to rinse his eyes.

“It was really painful, I couldn’t even see,” Bassir Sow said.

The jewelry store was still closed Thursday night. A store owner declined to comment.

“People were coughing and covering their eyes because most of the people who got sprayed were inside the store,” said witness Nicholas Lassi. “They’ve been pretty messed up. The swollen eyes looked like they had been sprayed head-on, face-on. It’s crazy.”

NYPD statistics show that robberies in the neighborhood where the robbery took place increased by 5%. Another recent case from Aug. 5 involved another Webster Avenue jewelry store, Rocco’s, in which police said three people used hammers to smash storefronts and got away with more than $2 million in merchandise.

Detectives have not yet said whether they believe this incident could be linked to the terrifying bear spray attack.

“I’ve worked in this place for 13 years, I’ve never seen it like this. The pandemic has made the situation worse and worse,” said Mojib Ullah, manager of a nearby clothing store. “To be honest with you, this area is going from bad to worse every day. They robbed the store on the corner, three times. Across the street, robbed last week.

Police said the group fled in a vehicle and a motorcycle. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.


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