June 13, 2023

USA: Alleged Mobsters Posed As Construction Workers To Rob NYC Jewelers To Celebrities. You Need An Appt And Have To Pass A Credit Check To Get In. Heist Netted $2 Million In Jewels.


NBC New York published June 7, 2023: Alleged mobsters pose as construction workers to rob NYC jewelers to Beyonce, Rihanna. A group of alleged mobsters is under arrest and investigators say they managed to pull the whole thing off by posing as construction workers. News 4’s Jonathan Dienst reports.

NBC4 News, New York local
written by Jonathan Dienst and Courtney Copenhagen
Tuesday June 6, 2023

An alleged robbery crew that police and the FBI have linked to the Luchese and Gambino crime families was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with $2 million jewel heists in Manhattan.

One alleged ring-leader, Luchese crime family associate Frank "Skip" Dipietro, 65, is accused of helping scheme one robbery plan. NYPD officials said crew members dressed as construction workers to rob a Madison Avenue jewelry store in broad daylight.

Bayco Jewels located at Madison Ave near East 61st Street was the target, investigators said. The store serves celebrities like Beyoncรฉ and Rihanna. The shop requires a credit check before an appointment to go to the penthouse showroom can been made.

The FBI said DiPietro and three other men held a clerk at gunpoint on Jan. 3 as he attempted to open and set up the storefront window display. DiPietro allegedly yelled “give it to me” as another alleged associate, Michael Sellick, 67, allegedly told the worker to "turn around and get in the closet.”

Another heist linked to the alleged crew took place in May, downtown at a jewelry store along Elizabeth Street.

Vincent Spagnuolo, Vincent Cerchio and Samuel Sorce were also among those charged with federal robbery-related counts.

As he was led away in handcuffs at the 13th precinct, Sorce joked to NBC New York's camera about the early morning raid: “Don’t show my feet - I got no socks on.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the gunpoint holdups showed "a callous disregard for life."

US Attorney Damian Williams said his office estimates the robberies netted about $2 million worth of jewels in all.

Video camera footage from inside the store is not the only evidence investigators have obtained. Police said they have images of the men getting dressed in the construction gear nearby before heading to the Madison Avenue location.

Major Case Squad detectives who helped lead the investigation said there are cell phone records linking several of the suspects to one another before, during and after the Madison Avenue holdup.

DiPietro previously served 19 years in federal prison related to the mob killing of a witness. All five suspects appeared in court and were ordered held without bail. Two defense lawyers reached by phone had no comment, and two others did not immediately return calls.

A defense attorney for Sellick called the situation a case of mistaken identity.

"There is no way my client can be on Madison Avenue when he is busy painting the underbelly of the Verrazano Bridge," Gerald McMahon told NBC New York. "He makes $55 an hour painting bridges. He doesn't need to be doing these little heists on Madison Avenue."

I was looking for other news channels reporting this jewelery heist. Couldn't find anything. But I did happen to come across these other robberies.
FOX 5 New York published February 23, 2023: $500K in jewelry stolen by NYC thieves. Police are searching for two men they said stole around $500,000 in jewelry from a Queens location during a violent armed robbery.
CBS New York published August 6, 2022: Robbers steal $2 million in diamonds from Bronx jewelry store. An employee buzzed in the first suspect, who was then able to let the other three inside, according to police.

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