Nearly $100,000 worth of jewelry stolen from A.I Poland Jewelers on Main Street in Manayunk yesterday has been recovered, but police say more is missing.
Officer Rachel Catalini with the Philadelphia Police Department said some of the stolen items were recovered in the trunk of an unattended car parked on the 200 block of Kalos Street in Roxborough.
Catalini said someone called in the license plates of a car after noticing “suspicious behavior,” which led to the recovery of the stolen items.
No arrests have been made yet.
The jewelry was taken around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday after a man entered the jewelry shop posing as a customer. The suspect said he wanted to purchase an item and asked for a box.
When longtime owner, Victor Ostroff, went to the back of the store to get the box, the suspect forced his way behind the counter and confronted Ostroff’s employee with a gun.
As Ostroff approached the counter, police say the suspect hit him in the back of the head with the gun, shoved Ostroff and his employee to the back of the store and bound them up with plastic ties.
It was then that police say another suspect entered and began stealing merchandise in the store. The two suspects were in the store for about 30 to 40 minutes before a customer came in and scared them off. They ran out of the store and fled southbound down Main Street.
Police said they are still trying to figure out the value of what was stolen.
Police say the first suspect was described as a 6-foot-tall black male between the ages of 55 and 60 with a goatee who wore a wig at the time of the incident.
Police don’t have any description on the second suspect because the employees were in the back of the store by the time he entered.
Jane Lipton, executive director of Manayunk Development Corporation, says she was on her way to meet with city representatives when she heard the news.
“I was shocked, just stunned,” Lipton said. “The business has been here for more than 100 years; it’s an institution here in Manayunk.”
Lipton met Ostroff in 1986 and got to know him while attending meetings for the Manayunk Business Association. She describes him as a great man dedicated to his family’s business. He suffered a small gash to the head and left work on Tuesday afternoon without medical treatment. In a brief phone call on Wednesday, an employee confirmed that Ostroff was doing well and the items had been recovered.
Lipton described Tuesday’s incident as out of character for the neighborhood.
“It’s just not Manayunk; it’s not our district,” Lipton said. “But the reality is that no area is immune anymore, I don’t care how suburban or rural, no one is immune.”
Standing outside his Manayunk storefront, Rothermel expressed the same feeling.
“It’s upsetting of course, no one wants to see this,” he said. “But you have to realize it is still part of the city and it’s still a possibility that something like this could happen on Main Street.”
Detectives are looking at the store’s interior security cameras and a nearby ATM machine camera for more clues.
NewsWorks will provide more updates as they become available.