YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : Five armed men burst into a Carlstadt perfume warehouse, tied up 11 employees and made off with four truckloads of high-end fragrances — some at upwards of $80 per ounce — in yet another criminal prelude to Valentine’s Day.
Police closed streets around 700 Gotham Parkway after getting a 911 call around 9:30 last night, Carlstadt Detective John Cleary told CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM .
More than three hours earlier, the gunmen burst into InStyle USA, a distributor of high-end fragrances, forced 11 employees into a front office area and bound their hands behind them with plastic wire ties, Cleary told the web site.
At that point, six box trucks pulled up, with 15 day laborers from the Bronx inside, the detective said.
“We believe that four trucks were loaded and gone by the time we got there,” Cleary told CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM .
Roughly $1 million worth of merchandise was taken from the warehouse, which ships perfumes manufactured by, among others, Versace, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, BVLGARI, Herme s and D&G.
Two trucks were left, with 13 of the workers hiding inside, when police arrived, Cleary said. Police have treated them as witness, not accomplices, believing that those involved didn’t know they were participating in a heist, the detective said.
Two others tried making a run for it. One of those scuffled with an officer, with both landing in the hospital — although the officer was released soon after for bruises he suffered after punching the suspect, who clocked him with a flashlight, Cleary said.
The Bergen County Police SWAT team was dispatched to the scene, along with officers from other agencies.
The crime came just two nights after a700 Gotham Parkway
burglary crew smashed their way into a diamond exchange on Route 4 in Paramus and hauled off a one-ton safe containing $3 million in diamonds, jewelry and other pricey items.
Thirteen of the workers were questioned and released. Two people were arrested and charged, including one who police said was responsible for herding the laborers in and out of the building.
“They’re all accounted for, except for the five armed assailants who took off,” Cleary told CLIFFVIEWPILOT.COM .
The employees “are not injured,” he said. “They’re not injured. They’re just shaken.”
Had he ever seen something like this before?
“Not this planned out,” he said. “Not to this extreme.”
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