NEW YORK — A thief walked into Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue a well-dressed man, and walked out a wanted man.
As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported Tuesday night, the thief struck at around 3 p.m. this past Friday at the Tiffany & Co. flagship store. He walked in and started chatting up an employee, and then took two necklaces from the counter.
With a single grab, he walked out with $98,000 worth of jewelry, police said.
Tiffany’s, of course, is a tourist mecca. The shining jewels lure in those who marvel, and apparently those who steal.
The brazen theft all went down on surveillance video.
A Tiffany’s employee is seen placing two diamond necklaces on top of a black velvet cloth on a display case, as the potential buyer paces in front.
Seconds later, the man swipes both necklaces, and just walks out the revolving front doors.
People catching a glimpse of the world famous store Tuesday night were stunned.
“He’s got some guts,” said Lizzy Barter of Chelsea, “because I’m pretty sure they have him on many cameras.”
“Wow … $100,000?” added Banal Naeem of the Upper West Side. “If I’m not going to be blown away by that, what else am I going to be blown away by?”
CBS 2 showed security expert Ralph Martell the video. He said the theft occurred quickly and easily because of the high-end jewelry store’s elegant style.
“Unfortunately, these are crimes of opportunity,” said Martell, of Cambridge Security, “especially in an environment like that where you’re expected to walk into a wonderful shopping experience. How does security create an environment where they’re protecting the goods?”
Police on Tuesday night were trying to track down the thief who made a smooth getaway out the revolving doors at Tiffany’s.
Martell believes NYPD investigators may have their own questions for the employee behind the counter.
“I would imagine NYPD is looking at the video and right about now questioning most of the staff at the store,” he said.
Martell would not speculate on the possibility of the theft being an inside job, but he said, “My suspicion is something went wrong, whether it was in the policy or there’s some involvement on the part of the employee.”
The thief was described as a black male wearing a dark-colored suit and tie.
Anyone with information was asked to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS, log onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577.