Wild video shows NYC crooks attack elderly woman in $500K jewel heist
Disturbing video shows the moment two brazen crooks pushed their way into a Queens jewelry store — past an elderly woman desperately trying to keep them out — during a half-million-dollar heist this week.
“They pointed a gun at her head and said, ‘Open the safe! Open the safe!’ But my mom didn’t know. She was totally terrified,” Diamond Collect shop owner Eva Chen, 43, told The Post of the broad-daylight horror.
Chen said her mother, Yuchi Lin, 79, had just flown in from Taiwan for a visit hours earlier when the daughter went to get lunch and left her mom in charge of the store in downtown Flushing around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
While Chen was gone, someone in an Amazon delivery jacket dropped off a package outside the door, she said Thursday.
The man then hid on a nearby flight of stairs with an accomplice, waiting for the unsuspecting senior to come out to retrieve it, according to Chen — who described her family as being “close friends” with Mayor Eric Adams.
“My mom didn’t know” the reputed deliveryman was still around, Chen told The Post on Thursday.
“She waited 3 to 4 minutes — she thought the guy left already. So she opened the door to pick up the parcel, but the guy ran into her right away and then screamed to another guy hiding downstairs to come up.”
The footage, obtained by The Post, shows Lin peeking out the door of the shop as she goes to get the package, then quickly trying to close it as the man in the Amazon garb runs up.
The suspect catches the door and pushes his way past the defenseless senior into the store, just as his accomplice, wearing all black — who was still hiding on the staircase — forces his way inside, too.
The pair attacked the senior and ripped off at least half a million dollars in merchandise from the shop, cops said.
“My mom said they were hammering the glass, and then they pushed her down,” Chen said. “She couldn’t even walk herself. They pushed her down and dragged her to the office because they wanted her to open the safe.
“My mom didn’t have the key,” Chen explained, adding the crooks pointed the gun at her stricken mother’s head.
Authorities say the jewel thieves “punched, kicked and struck a 79-year-old female employee in the head with a handgun” during the violent robbery.
Previously released video of the robbery shows one of the men pushing past the woman as she flails at his feet.
His masked partner — with a reusable shopping bag in one hand — whips a gun out from his waistband as the elderly woman raises her hand over her head in self-defense.
In another clip, the woman can be seen cowering on the floor as glass from a broken jewelry enclosure falls around her.
Police say about $500,000 in merchandise was stolen, but Chen estimates the total is closer to $1 million.
Lin was initially hospitalized in stable condition but has since returned home, where she is recovering, her daughter said.
She suffered multiple bruises, including a large one on her head.
“My mom is very terrified, but she’s getting better,” her daughter said.
To make matters worse, Lin — who only visits twice a year — arrived in Queens hours before the violent robbery and was still jet-lagged Thursday, her daughter said.
Chen said someone called her just the day before with an Amazon.com caller ID.
The female caller asked what time the store opened and informed her there was a two-package delivery.
Chen didn’t realize that anything was fishy until after the heist that left her mother shaken.
“I felt weird,” she said of the phone call. “I only [ordered] one delivery to my jewelry shop. I have two deliveries? Later, when this happened, I recalled my memory, and I just noticed how weird this was.”
An Amazon rep told WNBC that it has “not confirmed if the person involved delivers packages for Amazon, but are coordinating with law enforcement as they investigate.”
The suspects remained at large Friday.
“I really wish the detectives could arrest them,” Chen said. “This could happen to anyone, right? Wearing a costume, knock on the door — your parents, your kids — open the door, and they have a gun!
“They can kill anyone. That’s really crazy. They are wearing a costume. They could wear a police costume, they could wear a Con Edison costume.”
Chen told The Post that she has pushed for better security in the Asian community and in the city overall.
“After the pandemic, there are so many robberies, [and] you know, gunshots on the street,” Chen said. “My neighbor, the hair salon, got robbed two times a week.”
“The restaurant [on the other side] got robbed,” she added. “At night, we have so many homeless, so we are really terrified.”
Wednesday’s heist was the last straw for Chen, a Glen Oaks native who says she plans to move her business elsewhere.
“I feel really insecure and I’m done with here, so I’m moving,” she said. “Yeah, I won’t allow these things to happen to me again.”