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Suspect in Rolex Watch Heist Couldn't Tell His Grandma What he Did: Feds

By Gwynne Hogan | May 14, 2015 5:22pm | Updated on May 15, 2015 5:38pm
 Store clerks were ushered out of the store following an armed robbery on Tuesday afternoon.
Store clerks were ushered out of the store following an armed robbery on Tuesday afternoon.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

MANHATTAN — An 18-year-old Brooklyn man the feds say was part of a crew responsible for an elaborate Madison Avenue watch shop heist — complete with wardrobe changes — struggled to tell his grandmother what he’d done after he was caught, according to authorities.

Omar Rawlins was arrested Tuesday as he fled the Torneau watch store at 510 Madison Ave. near East 53rd Street where federal agents said he and two other men — all dressed in black suits and fedoras — smashed display cases and took off with Rolex watches in duffel bags, according to court records.

Before his arraignment, Rawlins had a deputy U.S. Marshal call his grandma, according to federal court papers.

"The Grandmother asked Rawlins what was happening; Rawlins did not respond," the agent reported. "The Grandmother asked Rawlins where he was; Rawlins responded that he did not know."

The young man finally confessed when she asked what he did.

"Rawlins responded that he robbed a jewelry store," according to his federal complaint. "He also told her that no one was hurt during the robbery."

After he was tackled during the getaway, police found him carrying a bag with five Rolex watches, a hammer, two pairs of work gloves, a yellow hard hat and a safety vest, police said. Under his black suit he wore athletic pants, according to court documents.

The other two suspects involved in the armed robbery were still at large by Thursday afternoon, police said.

The thieves stole 20 Rolex watches valued at a total of $730,000 though some were recovered in the bag Rawlins had on him at the time of his arrest, court documents said.

After his federal court arraignment on Wednesday, he was held on $100,000 bond for armed robbery and gun charges.

A lawyer for Rawlins declined to comment on the case.