Mark Vuono of Marco Jewelers in Stamford, Connecticut was shot and killed in his jewelry store in March 2020. One of the men indicted for the fatal armed robbery pleaded guilty this week. (Image courtesy of Marco Jewelers’ Facebook page)
Stamford, Conn.—One of the men indicted for the fatal armed robbery of Marco Jewelers owner Mark Vuono pleaded guilty this week.
Robert Rallo, 58, of Brooklyn, New York pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery, also known as a Hobbs Act robbery, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, as per a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.
He also pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
There are three suspects in total in the crime, all of whom have been indicted. The other two are Thomas Liberatore of White Plains, New York, and Paul “Tony Pro” Prosano of Brooklyn.
On the afternoon of March 28, 2020, Stamford police officers responded to Marco Jewelers in Stamford, Connecticut, following a call from a customer.
Police and medical personnel arrived to find that Vuono had been shot and was lying on the ground in front of an open safe. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
After analyzing surveillance video, investigators determined Rallo and Liberatore were driven in a black Jaguar to Marco Jewelers and entered the store.
Rallo, armed with a handgun, got into a physical altercation with Vuono, who also had a firearm, while Liberatore stole items from the display cases.
Vuono and Rallo fought in front of the open safe for about three minutes, said investigators.
Rallo reached into the safe and retrieved a third firearm, a .357 Magnum revolver, and shot Vuono with the revolver, killing him.
Law enforcement traced the black Jaguar to Staten Island, New York and kept tabs on the car.
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Two days after the robbery, on the night of March 30, investigators said Prosano pulled up beside the car in a black BMW X3. Rallo exited that car and got into the driver’s side of the black Jaguar.
Police followed as the two cars sped off, both later crashing with the two men attempting to flee on foot before being apprehended.
Investigators found 63 rings, eight bracelets, two tie pins, an earring, and a cufflink inside the BMW as well as 23 pairs of earrings and three rings in Prosano’s home, all of which were stolen from Marco Jewelers.
Rallo and his two associates have been detained since their arrests.
Rallo’s guilty plea was made during his change of plea hearing this week. The other two suspects have not taken steps to change their pleas, according to court documents.
U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley scheduled Rallo’s sentencing for June 28.
As per the terms of a binding plea agreement, if accepted by the court, the parties have agreed a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison is appropriate in this case.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stamford Police Department and Greenwich Police Department are conducting the investigation with the assistance of the New York Police Department, Yonkers Police Department and New Rochelle Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis and Rahul Kale.