PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A jewelry store on a trendy Philadelphia main street was the target of a meticulous robbery Tuesday afternoon and police tell Eyewitness News, the gunman took extra caution to avoid getting caught.
The sight of detectives arriving at a crime scene inside of the Poland Jewelry store, smack in the middle of Manayunk’s busy Main Street business district, shocked neighbors and local merchants.
“It’s shocking that in the day time something like this would happen,” said a shop owner.
Marching inside with guns drawn, two robber pistol whipped the owner then tied him up along with a female co-worker in a back room before stuffing cash and jewelry into bags. Fortunately, the business owner, well known for his friendliness and generosity, did not suffer life threatening injuries.
“He would do nice things,” said Angel Chiango, a neighbor. “I have a neighbor who came into get her rosary fixed and he wouldn’t even charge her for it, because that’s the kind of guy that he is.”
Detectives tell Eyewitness News that from everything they know so far, this robbery seems to be exceptionally well planned, with the two gunmen apparently casing the store well in advance.
“They were tied, it appears, with some type of plastic ties around their hands and the owner moved around a bit and was struck one time with what appeared to be the butt of an automatic weapon in the back of the head,” said Captain John Cerrone of the Philadelphia Police.
Wearing wigs and latex gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints, the pair even took the time to remove the surveillance video from the store’s computer before taking off.
As the name Main Street implies, violent crime is virtually unheard of in the thriving business district of Manayunk. The timing of this attack, at the start of the Spring shopping season is particularly unsettling for some.
“Nothing like this has ever happened on this street ever, that I can remember,” said one resident.
Reported by Walt Hunter, CBS 3