Workers tied up in Manayunk jewelry store robbery

March 29, 2011 3:13:55 PM PDT
Police are looking for the two men involved in the violent robbery of a jewelry store in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Police say the robbery happeend at around 10:30 a.m. when a black male, 6' tall with a grey goatee, wearing a blond wig, yellow jacket, and tan loafers entered the A.I. Poland Jewelers and asked owner Victor Ostroff to see an item.

Moments later, he pointed a gun at an employee.

Both the employee and owner were bound with plastic ties and ordered to the floor. Ostroff was also pistol whipped in the back of the head. The gunman then radioed his accomplice

"A second perpetrator comes in, they subsquently ransack the store and make off with an undetermined amount of jewelry. Some cash is taken from the register and from the owner and the employee, as well," Philadelphia Police Captain John Cerrone said.

The bandits wore latex gloves and took the surveillance tape from a camera before fleeing on foot.

Meanwhile, Ostroff and the employee managed to get free.

"This is shocking and it's sad and it's disappointing," Jane Lipton, Executive Director at Manayunk Development Corporation, said.

Robberies along Main Street, Lipton says, are rare and that it happened to A.I. Poland is particularly upsetting.

"You go to a district like Roxborough-Manayunk and you can't find a person that hasn't bought an engagement ring or a wedding band or piece of jewelry for Mother's Day from Victor and his family," Lipton said.

Long before Main Street Manayunk became a hip place to visit, the working class community there supported stores like A.I. Poland, a century old family owned jeweler, and it still does.

By mid-afternoon, police finished their work and the store was closed for the rest of the day. The owner says he'll likely reopen tomorrow.

Police have not released a description of the second suspect.

Anyone with information can contact the Philadelphia Police Department by calling 215.686.TIPS (8477) or visiting the department's website.