Police are searching for three men they say created a diversion at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in order to steal high-end watches from a department store jewelry counter.
Police said three men walked into Nordstrom around 12:15 p.m. and split up into different parts of the store. As one of the men asked a sales associate to view Michael Kors watches, another man allegedly ignited a firecracker at the entrance, briefly creating pandemonium in the department store. The ruse allowed the man at the jewelry counter to steal six watches valued at $1,500, Detective Lt. Robert Guidetti said Thursday.
Paramus Police received numerous 911 calls from shoppers in the Nordstrom section of the mall shortly after noon, reporting sounds of possible fireworks, gunshots or explosion.
"One male threw what is believed to be a firework device into Nordstrom from the mall area of the Garden State Plaza," said Capt. Kenneth Ehrenberg. "When the explosion took place, the two males in the watch section took six high-end watches."
The three individuals fled on foot shortly and police are reviewing surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify the thieves.
Security for the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall would not comment on the incident.
The incident is still under investigation.
Paramus Police are asking for assistance in identifying the subject caught on surveillance footage. The alleged thief is described as a black male in his mid to late 20’s, with a slight facial beard, wearing blue jean shorts, a white t-shirt, red sneakers, and a red base ball cap.
Any information can be forwarded to Detective Craig McEllen, Paramus Police Criminal Investigation Bureau at 201 262-3400, ext. 553.
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