New York City NY Dec 7 2017 A gunman robbed a high-end Upper East Side watch store in a smash-and-grab Tuesday — making off with $700,000 worth of timepieces, according to authorities.
The thief approached the A. Lange & Söhne shop on Madison Avenue near East 67th Street wearing a black baseball hat and gray hoodie at around 11:30 a.m., they said.
When a worker buzzed him into the boutique, the crook pulled out a silver gun and ordered everyone to drop to the floor, officials said.
The bandit, in his 50s, demanded an employee open some display cases, but that worker became “nervous” and fumbled with the keys, Sgt. Carlos Nieves told reporters at the scene.
The impatient robber then pulled out a metal object and smashed open one of the cases, according to police.
He snagged 13 watches before fleeing north on Madison Avenue and then east on East 67th Street, authorities said.
None of the three employees and two customers inside the 2,500-square-foot German-watch boutique was injured in the heist, which was captured on the shop’s security cameras, according to authorities.
The watches, police said, all have serial numbers on them and can be tracked if they’re ever brought to another store.
A security guard at the nearby Vhernier jewelry store on Madison Avenue called the incident “too close for comfort.”
“It’s crazy. It’s just crazy,” said guard Eddie Perel, 59.
But he added that the holdup doesn’t worry him.
“If you start getting nervous, then you might slip, so you gotta be really aware of your surroundings, cause not everyone that comes in the store is coming to shop,” Perel said.
“You gotta know the characters. I’m not . . . going to open the door for [just] anybody,” he said.
The heist was a few blocks from the Cartier flagship store, where a crew of smash-and-grab robbers made off with 16 watches, also worth $700,000, in 2014.
Four people were arrested in the Cartier caper, which may be linked to at least six other robberies.