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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 10, 2009

Thief poses as shopper, makes off with $30K necklace

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — After spending 45 minutes in a jewelry store, looking at various pieces and building a rapport with employees, a man took off with a $29,000 diamond necklace. Police have not been able to track him down.

On Dec. 3 a black man dressed casually walked into Frank Adams Jewelers in Stuyvesant Plaza, and, according to manager Kimberly Adams Russell, asked to look at jewelry pieces of various value — ranging from $200 up to thousands of dollars.

Russell said there were suspicions for “quite some time” that the store was being cased for a robbery, but employees were taken by surprise when, after nearly an hour, at around 5 p.m., the man asked to see an 18-karat white gold diamond necklace, grabbed the item out of an employee’s hand, and quickly left the store. The necklace is worth nearly $30,000.

The man said, “I’ll take it,” as he grabbed the piece of jewelry, Russell said.

“We had been working very diligently with the staff, to prep them for something like this,” Russell said. “I don’t feel the employee did anything wrong.”

Russell said no one pursued the man as he left the store because there was no way to tell if he was armed. The New York State Police and the Guilderland Police Department were called, and both searched the parking lot, but the suspect was not found.

Maureen Tuffey, spokeswoman for the State Troopers, said this week that there have been a lot of people calling in with tips on the location and identity of the man, and she hopes one of the tips pans out.

“The picture from the security camera was a good picture. Somebody knows this guy,” Tuffey said. “We certainly appreciate all the tips from the public.” Asked if the necklace is distinctive enough to be recognized if it is fenced, Tuffey said it was, but there was no way to know if it would be kept in its original form or taken apart.

The necklace was fully insured, according to Russell, but the value of the jewelry is not what is most important to her.

“Insurance doesn’t take away the fear of personal safety,” she said. “It will take some time to get over this.”

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