Police are searching for a group of armed robbers after they stormed a jewelry store at a New Jersey mall with a gun, the Mayor's Office says.
The group of four, all in dark clothing, masks and caps, held up the jewelers on 5th inside Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth Tuesday morning, two police sources told News 4. One was armed with the semi-automatic gun.
“I was shaking – very nervous,” said Maggie Vasquez, a mall worker who witnessed the incident. “I ran and just started yelling, ‘gun, gun, run, run.”
Vanessa Rosie, an employee at the boutique next to the jewelry store, said she heard a woman screaming, so she ran to the bathroom out of fear. When Rosie finally came out, she said she saw one person running away.
Despite shouts and reports of a shooting, there were no shots fired, according to sources.
As Vasquez described, “(The robbers) ran into our store, and I believe a car was waiting for them out here.”
The Mayor's Office confirmed the suspects fled in a dark Audi with blacked-out windows – a vehicle police believe is stolen. It was not initially known how much the robbers got away with.
After the incident, cops canvassed the mall for evidence. Upon reviewing surveillance video, they believe the car headed to Staten Island. There, a similar robbery occurred at a phone store, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives, Robert Boyce. Police are investigating if the two events are connected.
By the afternoon, business at the mall was back to normal, but the Jewelry Exchange store remain closed as police search for the suspects and finish the investigation.