MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — Two masked crooks held up a Midtown Manhattan jewelry store, then changed their outfits while escaping in an effort to cover their tracks, police said early Tuesday in an appeal for tips.

The pair walked into the store on Lexington Avenue near East 45th Street around 5:20 p.m. Jan. 4 and approached a 53-year-old man working the counter, according to authorities.

One of the crooks pulled a gun on the employee, threatening to shoot him unless he opened a display case, officials said. He then used the gun to break open the top of the case, police said.

The second robber, who wielded a can of pepper spray during the incident, then jumped over the counter and snatched jewelry, authorities said. He briefly struggled with the employee, before running out of the store with his accomplice, officials said.

A man sought by the NYPD in connection to the armed robbery of a Midtown Manhattan jewelry store, as pictured before (left) and after (right) the incident
A man sought by the NYPD in connection to the armed robbery of a jewelry store on Lexington Avenue near East 45th Street in Midtown Manhattan on Jan. 4, 2023, as pictured before (left) and after (right) the incident. (Credit: NYPD)

Jewelry valued at approximately $1,000 was stolen, police said. No injuries were reported.

Both of the robbers wore black facemasks during the hold-up, and changed their clothes after fleeing the store, according to investigators.

A man sought by the NYPD in connection to the armed robbery of a Midtown Manhattan jewelry store, as pictured before the incident, while changing, and after the incident
A man sought by the NYPD in connection to the armed robbery of a jewelry store on Lexington Avenue near East 45th Street in Midtown Manhattan on Jan. 4, 2023, as pictured before the incident (left), while changing (center), and after the incident (right). (Credit: NYPD)

The gunman is described by police as having a thin build and was last seen wearing a red hoodie, red pants, and black sneakers, while carrying a black backpack with red straps. His accomplice is also described as having a thin build, and has black hair, facial hair, and tattoos on both forearms. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black pants, and black sneakers, while carrying a dark blue backpack.

Investigators released surveillance images of the suspects, asking for tips from anyone who recognizes them.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips.