Once inside of Gregg Ruth, a jewelry store known for rare pink and yellow diamonds, with pieces fetching up to $150,000, one of the burglars looks directly into a CCTV camera.
In what what looks like an inside job, the three men entered the sixth-floor store through a freight entrance, breaking in using a hammer and crowbar. Once inside, they made their way into a room containing four safes, from which the burglars took earrings, necklaces and 18-karat gold bracelets.
The men entered the building at around 10 p.m., but waited until the ball drop at Times Square began to snatch the trinkets. Security was heightened this year, with dozens of sand-filled trucks positioned around the area to protect against vehicle attacks such as those that have taken place recently in Europe.
Police commissioner James O’Neill told a Manhattan news conference on December 29, "People will be safe this New Year’s Eve because we’re there along with our law enforcement partners…We’re going to have one of the most well-policed, best protected events at one of the safest events in the entire world."
CCTV footage revealed one of the burglars on a mobile phone receiving safe combinations.
After stuffing the jewels in backpacks, the men exited the store down a stairwell.
One building worker told the New York Post, "It’s weird to me that they randomly tried that floor in this building. How would somebody know to come here? That’s real fishy…It definitely seems like an inside job."
The worker added, "the timing is weird too," nothing that the intruders seemed to know the area would be abandoned at the time of the robbery.
Another person that works in the building said, "It’s a black eye for their company. They couldn’t secure it. That money, a lot of money — it’s embarrassing."