By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — Police are searching for a well-dressed armed bandit who robbed two jewelry stores within blocks of each other in SoHo and Greenwich Village in recent weeks.
The NYPD released surveillance video of the suspect, who posed as a wannabe fiancé before brandishing a handgun and stealing three engagement rings from Lunessa Designer Jewelry at 100 Thompson St. in SoHo on June 9, police said.
Then, on June 23, the assailant robbed the Land of Buddha jewelry store at 128 MacDougal St. in Greenwich Village only blocks away by pulling a knife on an employee and making off with even more jewelry, police said.
Police described the suspect as a white male, 35 to 45 years old, standing approximately 5 feet 9 inches and weighing about 180 pounds. He was wearing a striped blue button-down shirt and dark pants at the time of the robberies, police said.
The owner of the SoHo store said the three rings the suspect stole weren’t particularly expensive, with a total value of about $3,000.
At the Greenwich Village store, he took two necklaces, 20 bangles and 25 rings with a total value of about $7,400, The Villager reported.
In the first incident on Thompson Street, the suspect asked to view engagement rings before pulling a gun on a female employee and telling her to go to the back of the store or he would shoot her, a witness said.
In the second incident on MacDougal Street, the suspect brandished a knife, told a female employee “Don’t shout, don’t look at me,” and then led her to the rear of the store, where he bound her hands, The Villager reported.
Anyone with information regarding the incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.