Gunman robs $700K in watches


Police released a series of surveillance photos of this man robbing the A. Lange & Söhne watch boutique on Madison Avenue Tuesday morning. He fled after taking watches worth $738,000. Photos: NYPD
A similar Madison Avenue heist happened last year
BY LIZ HARDAWAY

A man armed with a handgun and a hammer robbed a Madison Avenue boutique of timepieces worth more than $700,000 Tuesday morning in what police suspect is his second robbery of an upscale watch retailer on the posh avenue in about a year.

At 11:16 yesterday, the man entered A. Lange & Söhne store, on Madison between 66th and 67th Streets, took out a handgun, announced a robbery and told employees to open display cases, police said. The man then used a hammer to break open a case.

He took watches worth $738,000 before fleeing north on Madison, police said. No store employees were injured in the incident.

A person answering the phone at the boutique earlier today declined to discuss the incident.

But police said Tuesday's incident is similar to the robbery of the Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique, about four blocks south of A. Lange & Söhne, in November last year.

“Pursuant to an active ongoing investigation, it has been determined that the following incident is part of a robbery pattern,” a statement from police said.

In the earlier incident, two men entered the Jaeger-LeCoultre store on November 21, 2016, also in the morning, with one them showing a black handgun and ordering three store employees to the floor, police said. His accomplice then used a claw hammer to smash open two display boxes from where he took five watches worth a total of more than $300,000 before the pair fled, police said.

The gunman in that incident was described as white, about 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing about 240 pounds.

The second man was said to be about 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds.

Police are asking that persons with information on the robberies call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip by text at 274637 or online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential, police said