Arrests raise pressure on NYC jewelry thieves

Feb. 1, 2014 at 10:15 AM

NEW YORK, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- New York police said the arrest of two suspects in a downtown jewelry heist should lead to breakthroughs in other open cases.

The two ex-cons were believed to be part of a five-member smash-and-grab crew that stole more than $709,000 worth of expensive watches from the landmark Cartier store on Fifth Avenue Thursday.

"We recovered some of the (stolen) property, and our anticipation is we will be able to solve a number of New York City cases as a result of that," Police Commissioner William Bratton told reporters.

Roberto Grant, 33, and Allen Williams, 35, were arrested in Brooklyn driving a BMW with Pennsylvania license plates. Court documents said Williams, the accused getaway driver, was wearing one of the missing watches at the time of his arrest, the New York Daily News said Saturday.

Details of what led to the arrest were not revealed.

Bratton called it "extraordinarily great detective work."

He acknowledged the skill -- or luck -- of the bandits, who fled unscathed through Manhattans crowded midtown.

"I don't think I can get a block up Fifth Ave. at any time of day without getting stopped for traffic at a red light," Bratton said. "These guys made a clean getaway."

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