$4M 'Hasidic' diamond heist staged: cops
By JAMIE SCHRAM • New York Post
Two Diamond District wholesalers were arrested yesterday for staging a bizarre $4 million jewel heist in 2008 involving two purported thieves disguised as Hasidic Jews, in a holdup straight out of the 2001 movie "Snatch," police said.
Atul Shah, 48, and Mahaveer Kankariya, 43, were charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud and falsifying business records in connection with the bogus gunpoint robbery at their Midtown store on New Years Eve.
Law enforcement sources said enhanced video surveillance footage showed the owners stealing the jewelry prior to the fake heist.
"The whole thing was set up," one source said.
One of the phony bandits is currently being questioned at the Midtown North stationhouse, sources said. His accomplice is still at large.
The bogus heist occurred in broad daylight on Dec. 31, 2008, when the robbers — sporting Orthodox garb of black coats, hats and beards, flashed fake ID's to lobby security at 2 West 46th Street and then rode the elevator up to Dialite Imports on the fifth floor, cops said.
After they were buzzed inside the store, the duo pulled out guns and held up Shah and another employee, cops said. The "heist" mimics the opening scene of the film, in which Benicio Del Toro and a slew of diamond thieves disguise themselves as Hasidic Jews.
Shah was ordered to clean out the safe of all diamonds and jewels. The intruders then tied up the two men with duct tape before fleeing.
[Hat Tip: Yankle.]