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Jewelry store robbery nets big loss
Suspects threaten to shoot employee, 79
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Detectives Bryan Holland and Rob Armasino leave the front door of New York Diamonds while community service officer Andrea Contreras dusts for fingerprints on the glass door. - photo by GLENN KAHL

New York Diamonds jewelry store lost an undisclosed amount of loose diamonds and gold rings in an early morning robbery at their Wal Mart Shopping Center location Wednesday.

A jeweler opened the door at the South Main Street shop just before 9 a.m. and within moments, two men forced their way through the store ordering Albert Talavera, 79, to the back room, police said.  Talavera was told to open the store’s safe with a threat of being shot if he didn’t comply.

The two men were described as Hispanic males, 20 to 30 years old, both having mustaches, baseball caps and sunglasses. Both were dressed alike with tan short-sleeved shirts, blue jeans and dark shoes.

Officers said the victim never actually saw the weapon.

Police said the men left the building by the back door after leaving Talavera behind the jewelry counter where he was forced to lie until help arrived. Unable to get to a telephone he remained there for about an hour until another jeweler reported for work at 10 a.m. and called 911 after finding the door unlocked and the lights off.

As police were investigating, Talavera’s daughter was waiting nervously by the front door for word on her dad.  She had been working at WalMart when she heard of the police activity at the jewelry store.  He was finally allowed to go to the door and assure her he was ok.

She said she was doubly concerned for her father because he had recently had heart surgery.

Detective Rob Armasino said the police are continuing their investigation and reviewing surveillance tapes from both inside and outside the store.
New York Diamonds closed for the rest of the day Wednesday.  The store has been subject to past robberies including one by the Band-Aid bandit during the winter months.