Alleged thief steals diamond ring reportedly worth $50,000

- Philadelphia police are investigating a robbery on Jewelers' Row in Center City.

Police say the suspect walked into Max Weiner's jewelry store on Jewelers' Row as so many customers do. He was browsing until he spotted a pricey diamond ring and asked to see it, investigators say. Seconds later, he was out the door with a 24 carat white gold diamond ring, reportedly worth $50,000, according to police.

Robert Lance owns the jewelry store right next to Weiner's. He was troubled by the robbery of his next door neighbors, but insisted Jewelers' Row has police and a lot of cameras. He called it a safe place to do business.

'It's such a rare occurrence, a very seldom thing that you see. This street is very, very well protected," he told FOX 29.

Police say a female employee at jewelry store confronted the alleged thief and tried to get him to turn over the diamond ring. Police say he wasn't having it.

"The offender makes a threatening motion, putting his hand in his pocket and uttering something like what are you going to do," said Central Detectives Lt. Patrick Dogerty.

The owner thinks this was carefully planned out robbery. He believes the suspect, and possibly an accomplice waiting outside, decided to go in when police patrols were in another section of Jewelers' Row.

Right before Valentine's Day last year, two people broke into Barsky's jewelry store and made off with $400,000 in expensive merchandise. In April 2015, an employee at a jewelry store was kidnapped, tased and tortured in a botched robbery.

The owner and his employees were too upset and frightened to speak on camera. The employee was not harmed. The suspect escaped onto the PATCO line at 8th and Chestnut Street stop.  

If you have any information about this crime or these suspects, please contact: Central Detective Division: 215-686-3093/3094 Det. Velazquez DC 16-06-056646

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