Crime

Melissa Joy Manning’s Brooklyn Boutique Robbed at Knifepoint

CrimeFeb 09, 2023

Melissa Joy Manning’s Brooklyn Boutique Robbed at Knifepoint

The robber obscured his identity with a hat, sunglasses, and surgical mask.

20230209_BrooklynRobbery.jpg
Security camera footage from two different New York City jewelry stores shows the man believed to have robbed the Melissa Joy Manning store in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, last week.
New York—There’s been another jewelry store robbery in Brooklyn, New York, this time in the Cobble Hill neighborhood by a man believed to have committed several jewelry store heists. 
 
On Thursday, Feb. 2, a man entered the Melissa Joy Manning boutique at 196 Court St., according to designer and founder Melissa Joy Manning.
 
He was fully covered, wearing a surgical face mask, sunglasses, and a hat. 
 
The man made conversation with the one employee on duty, explaining he was shopping for an eighth anniversary present for his girlfriend and that his budget was $8,000 to match the occasion. 
 
“He asked to see where all the diamond rings were, where all the necklaces were, took some pictures and said he would wait to hear back from his girlfriend,” Manning told National Jeweler Wednesday. 
 
The man left the store after surveying some options. Realizing he was likely casing the store, the employee immediately reached out to Manning.
 
Manning sent an employee working at the company’s nearby location in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood to the Cobble Hill store so the first employee wouldn’t be alone. 
 
She also contacted the store’s assigned New York City Police Department neighborhood community officer (NCO). 
 
“Our previous NCO had been really responsive,” she said. “Any time we had any kind of suspicious character or anything odd he would send a car or a beat patrolman to be on the street.”
 
That officer was promoted, leaving a new police officer in his place. According to Manning, the new NCO didn’t take the situation seriously and didn’t advise Manning to call 911. 
 
“He blew me off like I was a hysterical female, despite me asking for help and being very specific about what happened. He took my phone number and said, ‘I’ll get back to you.’” 
 
As soon as the second employee stepped out for a moment, the suspicious man re-entered the store under the guise of having chosen a piece to purchase. 
 
“[My employee] turned to open the case. He put a knife at her back and said, ‘This is a robbery. Remain calm. Just do what I say. Take everything out of the case and put it in my hands.’”
 
Manning said the robber instructed the employee to empty out one entire showcase dedicated to fine jewelry, then another showcase measuring six feet long. He put the stolen goods in a backpack.  
 
As they moved closer to the door, he had the employee lie down. When he left—fleeing on foot down into the subway—he took a showcase key he had touched with him.  
 
“He was methodical and calm. He obviously had done it quite a few times,” Manning said. 
 
Upon conferring with other local jewelers, Manning believes this same individual has hit several other New York City jewelry stores, including Macha in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, also at knifepoint a couple of weeks prior. 
 
She believes he is also the man who attempted to enter Goldpoint Jewelry in the same neighborhood, though employees “turned him away and called the police because they recognized him.”
 
Manning said she thinks the robber was in Page Sargisson’s Brooklyn jewelry store on Feb. 2, the same day he robbed her store, and that he is the man who “assaulted two employees” at Manhattan store Jill Platner on the day prior when they became suspicious of him and threatened to call the police. 
 
The NYPD agrees with Manning and her fellow jewelers. She said they have escalated the case to the high-profile crime unit, investing the man as a serial burglar. 
 
 Related stories will be right here … 
 
Though the police are now taking the case seriously, Manning feels they were negligent when they didn’t act upon her initial call to her neighborhood community officer. 
 
“He’s obviously targeting smaller, designer, women-owned stores,” Manning said. 
 
The man is described as a tall Black male, likely between 6’2” and 6’4”. He’s been seen wearing jeans, black or white tennis shoes, and a black jacket. 
 
He wears a surgical mask and red wraparound sunglasses. He also wears a hat, which has varied in different sightings, from a newsboy cap to a stocking cap. He has been seen with two backpacks at once—one that is blue and black and one that is red and black. 
 
“He’s dangerous,” Manning said.  
 
She advises anyone who sees him to immediately call 911. Anyone with information about the suspect should contact Detective Robert Manzi of the NYPD’s Brookly Robbery Squad at (718) 230-4432 or Robert.Manzi@nypd.org
 
Manning also asked jewelers to be on alert for suspicious requests to sell a lot of jewelry. She said Greenwich St. Jewelers received such a call from a man wanting to sell jewelry owned by a recently deceased relative the day after the Melissa Joy Manning robbery. 
 
Brooklyn has had a spate of jewelry store robberies recently, though the perpetrators of a January smash-and-grab and a violent robbery in December didn’t wear the same disguise as the man who robbed Melissa Joy Manning and were in groups. 
 

The Latest

Van Cleef & Arpels tie necklace
AuctionsMay 23, 2024
Sotheby’s to Offer Rare VCA Necklace, ‘Lavender Dream’ Diamond

A tie necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels and a pinkish purple diamond are highlights of the upcoming New York jewelry auction.

Tiffany Venetian glass bead ear clips
TrendsMay 23, 2024
State of Jewelry Design: 3 Themes That Will Shape the Next 5 Years

Color, storytelling, and the use of nonconventional materials are the signatures of today’s most innovative and influential designers.

Inoveo Platinum
MajorsMay 23, 2024
PGI to Debut New Platinum Alloy in Las Vegas

Inoveo Platinum will be distributed exclusively by Stuller in the U.S.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Alan Hart Headshot
MajorsMay 23, 2024
Gem-A CEO Alan Hart Resigns

He is stepping down in August after eight years as CEO.

Weekly QuizMay 23, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these seven questions.
Take the Quiz
Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingMay 22, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

The Eden Rose, a 10.20-carat fancy intense pink diamond
AuctionsMay 22, 2024
Christie’s Website Back Online, Announces Plans to Auction 10-Carat Pink Diamond

The fancy intense pink “The Eden Rose” is estimated to sell for up to $12 million at the New York “Magnificent Jewels” sale next month.

Royal Chain gold chains
Brought to you by
Record Gold Prices Have Consumers Undeterred. Here’s Why.

Despite the rising prices, consumers continue to seek out the precious metal.

Pandora Essence jewelry
CollectionsMay 22, 2024
Pandora’s New Jewelry Collection Reimagines the Essentials

The “Pandora Essence” collection brings a contemporary and sculptural feel to staples like gold hoops and pearl necklaces.

Instore show 2024
Events & AwardsMay 22, 2024
InStore ‘Cram Day’ To Focus on Lab-Grown Diamond Education

The limited-seating learning event precedes its second annual trade show, which starts Aug. 11.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Dame Shirley Bassey’s
AuctionsMay 21, 2024
Dame Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Ready for Their Encore

Sotheby’s will auction jewelry belonging to the “Diamonds Are Forever” singer in Paris this October.

National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith
ColumnistsMay 21, 2024
Successful Vendor Relationships: A Win-Win Approach

Sherry Smith shares tips for fostering successful vendor-retailer partnerships, from marketing investment to fast-seller replenishment.

Jennifer Herold, Independent Jewelers Organization vice president
IndependentsMay 21, 2024
Jennifer Herold Promoted to VP at IJO

Herold has been with the organization for 22 years and will continue in her current role of conference director.

Studs pop-up
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Studs Opens Luxury Piercing Pop-Up in NYC

“Fancy Studs” will feature revamped branding and a new lab-grown diamond fine jewelry collection.

Nivoda executive team at table
SourcingMay 20, 2024
2 Business-to-Business Platforms Secure Millions in Funding

Nivoda and Liquid Diamonds both have big plans for the new capital.

Stuller Packaging & Displays 2024-2025 catalog
MajorsMay 20, 2024
Stuller Issues New Packaging & Display Catalog

The 2024-2025 edition features new colors and styles, as well as storytelling elements.

Elephants wading in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
SourcingMay 20, 2024
State of the Diamond Industry: Botswana Beyond Diamonds

From moringa to ecotourism in the Okavango Delta, the country and its leaders are exploring how Botswana can diversify its economy.

Rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingMay 20, 2024
Anglo American Confirms It Is Looking to Sell De Beers

The mining giant also wants to offload its platinum business as part of an overhaul designed to “unlock significant value.”

Buccellati jewelry
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Richemont Appoints Van Cleef & Arpels’ Nicolas Bos as New CEO

The announcement coincided with its full-year results, with growth driven by its jewelry brands.

Watches of Switzerland Mall of America store
FinancialsMay 17, 2024
Watches of Switzerland’s Fiscal-Year Sales Flat

Looking ahead, the retailer said it sees “enormous potential” in Roberto Coin’s ability to boost its branded jewelry business.

My Next Question webinar series graphic
Recorded WebinarsMay 17, 2024
Watch: Preparing for Trade Show Success

Jewelry trade show veterans share strategies for engaging buyers, managing your time effectively, and packing the right shoes.

Cartier ring-tailed lemur brooch circa 1991
AuctionsMay 17, 2024
Piece of the Week: Cartier’s Ring-Tailed Lemur

This little guy’s name is Ricky and he just sold for more than $200,000 at Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction.

202.18 carat fancy intense yellow diamond The Yellow Rose
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Christie’s Holds 2 Sales Despite Cyberattack

Though its website has been down for a week, Christie’s proceeded with its jewelry and watch auctions on May 13-14, bringing in nearly $80 million.

The Allnatt yellow diamond
AuctionsMay 16, 2024
Sotheby’s Withdraws 101-Carat Yellow Diamond from Auction

Despite the absence of “The Allnatt,” Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction totaled $34 million, with 90 percent of lots sold.

National Jeweler columnist Lilian Raji
ColumnistsMay 16, 2024
The PR Adviser: What the Designer Should’ve Done

Lilian Raji gives advice to designers on how to make the most of great publicity opportunities.

Mothae Diamond Mine Lesotho
SourcingMay 16, 2024
Lucapa to Shed Stake in Lesotho Diamond Mine

The mining company wants to divest its 70 percent holding in the Mothae Diamond Mine in an effort to streamline its portfolio.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy