Amid the tales of peril and loss still emerging from what’s now being dubbed “Bloomberg’s Blizzard,” there is this from the Post about a troop of intrepid jewel thieves who made the most of the build-up to nature’s calamity by sacking a Chelsea diamond store on Christmas Day. The Post‘s Jamie Schram describes this Ocean’s Eleven-style crew as “ransacking display cases like hungry piranha.”
The break-in began at 5 P.M. — sunset — on Christmas when a trio of masked men made their way to the roof of a building at West 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue. Cat-like, they made their way to the next-door roof of a building where a branch of Ultra Diamonds is housed then smashed their way in with a sledgehammer. Cameras and video systems were disabled, and display cases shattered, police sources tell Schram. Apparently, the thieves missed one camera since police have released a video still showing the black-clad crew hard at work inside the store.
The brazen burglars made off with “a treasure trove” of diamonds, rings, watches, and jewelry. They remain at large and cops are hoping that someone they stiffed for a Christmas present will give 1-800-577-TIPS a jingle.
This is an impressive heist, but it is nowhere near the record for holiday-inspired thievery. That still belongs to the crash-and-carry crew of late Colombo crime family captain Greg Scarpa Sr. who, in the late early ’80s, broke through the roof of a store in the old diamond district at the corner of Canal and Bowery over the July 4th weekend. The gang then worked their way through the walls of each adjacent store, taking their time and partying as they went. They spent the entire weekend in the complex, undisturbed in their looting. “Banditos!” headlined the Daily News after the burglary was discovered, the thieves long gone.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 29, 2010