MANHATTAN — A thief swiped $54,000 worth of jewelry from an Upper East Side boutique that has outfitted celebrities like Beyoncé and Selena Gomez after choking and tying up its clerk Friday afternoon, police said.
The suspect, a sketch of whom was released Wednesday, walked into Margo Manhattan, at 1202 Madison Ave., about 2 p.m., and asked to see some merchandise, police said.
When the 53-year-old clerk, who was alone in the shop with a German Shepherd puppy, started helping him, the thief gripped her neck and threatened her with a stun gun to force her into a back room where he tied her up with straps torn off a nearby purse, according to police and the Daily News.
“She came to a point where she saw her life in front of her,” the owner, Margo Manhattan, who named the store after herself, told the paper. “He was really forceful. He choked her. He said, ‘I’m going to kill you.’”
The thief took a display case key from the clerk and began swiping bracelets and necklaces from the showroom and the back area, police said. He also kicked the 13-week-old puppy, according to the News.
The man was interrupted when another employee walked in and the suspect calmly pretended to be a customer and told the other staffer, "She's in the back," before leaving with the jewelry, the News reported.
The victim did not require medical attention, police said.
Investigators released security footage showing the suspect, who wore a Brooklyn Nets baseball cap and a beaded silver chain.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).