WOODBRIDGE — It took just a minute for a group of armed people to storm the Virani Jewelers store on Friday night and violently make off with showcases of gold chains and jewellery.
Woodbridge Police Captain Scott Kuzma told New Jersey 101.5 that the group entered the store at a small mall on Oak Tree Road in the Iselin neighborhood of Woodbridge at 7:45 p.m., just 15 minutes before closing time.
Security footage of the robbery shows eight people with guns, wearing black clothing and ski masks, storming into the store screaming. As they entered, the group pushed down a man and woman sitting in high-backed chairs by the entrance.
The group immediately dispersed around the store, using hammers and chairs to smash through the display cases and get at the jewelry.
One minute and gone
While one of the group watched the door, the others stuffed jewels into their backpacks and carried full trays from the shop’s display cases.
Within a minute they were gone, leaving broken glass and empty display cases on the floor.
A second video showed the group driving off in a white Mercedes SUV.
The woman who was pushed face first to the ground and a man who had been crouched on the ground during the robbery got up and began surveying the damage. The video showed two other workers inside the store during the robbery.
Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said the footage was released by the owner and shared multiple times on social media.
Big police reaction
Police cordoned off the area in a major response to the store following the theft with many people gathering nearby, another video showed.
McCormac told New Jersey 101.5 that the dollar value of the theft has not yet been determined. He said the area is known for having almost all Indian retailers and restaurants.
“Fortunately no one was injured and we have an active investigation. If anyone has relevant information, we ask that they call 732-855-TIPS (8477),” McCormac said.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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These are the best hiking areas in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible hiking trails, waterfalls and lakes.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, there are many options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outside and enjoy nature, and it’s also a great workout.
If you are going downhill and meet an uphill hiker, step aside and give the uphill hiker room. A hiker going uphill has the right-of-way unless stopping to catch his breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side trails unless they are marked as an official trail, stay away from them. If you leave the trail, you can harm the ecosystems surrounding the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.
You also don’t want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and keep hiking.
Cyclists should give way to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give way to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey’s trails.
If you decide to take your dog with you on your hike, be sure to keep them on a leash and ensure all pet waste is removed.
Finally, keep the weather in mind, if the trail is too muddy it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions for the best hiking areas in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:
The summer season is here and with it the street fairs in New Jersey
A complete list of family street fairs happening now through the end of summer in New Jersey.
(All events are listed in date order through September 21.)
New Jersey’s license plate designs through the years