When Brazen Burglers Stole a 4,000-Pound Safe from a Canal Street Jewelery Shop in Broad Daylight [HISTORY]
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For one Chinatown address, a century of jewelry history is gone.
Since as early as 1915, the six-story corner building at 105 Canal Street hosted jewelry stores and diamond dealers on premise almost exclusively. That changed in the spring of 2012 when Crawford Fine Gold Jewelry packed up and relocated to the Bowery. Two failed cafes followed in the wake of the closure (99 Cafe and Beans & Leaves), paving the way for Off the Bridge, that year-old bike repair-coffee shop that opened in the summer of 2015.
Local blog Lost City had previously uncovered some of this diamond history. Of particular note, though, is the heist of 1973 at 105 Canal. It was something out of the movies.
The commercial occupant at the time, Sherre Diamond Company, was reportedly robbed of its 4,000-pound safe through the second-story window. According to an article in the Montana Standard (of all places), the burglars dragged the safe across the room and “slammed it through a window and the surrounding brick wall to the street 20 feet below.” The payload – estimated at $100K – was then placed on a truck that disappeared.
In an early-morning blitzkrieg, burglars broke into the loft of a Canal Street diamond merchant Wednesday, dragged a 4,000-pound safe across the room and slammed it through a window and the surrounding brick wall to the street 20 feet below. Then, as detectives were responding to alarms tripped by the burglars, the gang apparently hoisted the refrigerator-sized safe onto a truck and disappeared. The safe was said to have contained diamonds valued at more than (100,000. By the time the police and private detectives arrived at the Sherre Diamond Co., reportedly 10 minutes after the alarms were received, all they saw was a hole on the second floor on the building. The sidewalk was dented from the impact of the safe, and the street was littered with brick and mortar. Sgt. Mark Codd of the burglary and robbery squad said the gang must have used some powerful mechanical device, a truck with a winch or a cherry-picker.
Deep gouges on the floor indicated that the burglars had trussed the safe in a cable and pulled it right through the wall. Val Sherre, who owns the diamond importing and wholesaling business, declined to see reporters, pleading shock. “The poor guy,” a fellow jeweler said. “He just got a new safe. He had two security services. He had a television monitor by the door. But they didn’t come in by the door. They just bashed in his wall. Not much finesse, effective.”
All in broad daylight.