FLUSHING, Queens (PIX11) — Robbers bum-rushed, pistol whipped, kicked, and dragged a 79-year-old woman inside a Queens jewelry store, police said.
The victim was minding the 39th Avenue store near Prince Street for her daughter, the owner, on Feb. 22 before the robbery, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said Tuesday. About an hour before the robbery, four men pulled up outside in what police believe was a black Mercedes Benz.
Two men got out, Essig said. One of the men went to the garbage, picked up an Amazon box, and handed it to the other man who was dressed in an Amazon jacket. The man in the Amazon outfit rang the buzzer at the jewelry store.
The woman told him to leave the package, authorities said. He put it down and left. About a minute later, she opened the door to get the package.
“That’s when they bum-rush her,” Essig said.
Video shows the woman trying to pull the door closed as the men force their way inside. The man in the Amazon jacket pulled out a firearm while the other man, who was masked up and wearing all black, was armed with a hammer, police said.
“[The woman] was pistol-whipped by one male, viciously kicked by both and dragged across the floor, causing severe bruising to her arms and blood clot in the head,” Essig said.
One of the men smashed a glass case and removed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, officials said. They took rings, watches, pendants and chains.
During the robbery, two others appeared to have acted as lookouts outside, Essig said. One man wore all black. The other had glasses. He wore blue jeans and a Lakers shirt. It’s believed they all fled in a Mercedes Benz.
There have been 11 jewelry store robberies so far this year, but none fit this particular pattern, police said. Investigators don’t believe the man in the Amazon jacket is employed by the company. They believe the jacket was used as part of a “ruse” so the robbers could gain entry to the store.
“Anybody could get a jacket like that if they know somebody,” Essig said.
The victim’s mother, who owns the jewelry store, actually got a call that appeared to come from Amazon the day before the robbery, she said. The woman thinks it was part of the set up by the robbers.
“The caller id shows amazon.com, that’s why I pick up,” she said. “And they say they wanted to make a delivery, make sure you are at the premises.”
She wasn’t there when the robbers arrived; she was out getting lunch. Still, she had a message for them.
“They don’t deserve any respect at all,” she said. “I curse them.”
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).