Jewelers who staged ‘Chasidic’ robbery arrested


(JTA) — Two jewelers were arrested for staging the robbery of $4 million in jewelry from their own store using thieves dressed as Chasidim.

The two diamond wholesalers from the New York Diamond District — Atul Shah, 48, and Mahaveer Kankariya, 43 — staged the robbery on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2008. They were charged Tuesday with grand larceny, insurance fraud and falsifying business records, according to reports.

The Chasidic-disguised thieves, who wore false beards, black hats and black coats, have not yet been apprehended.

The wholesalers told police that $4 million in diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and jewelry had been stolen and tried to claim the sum from their insurer, Lloyd’s of London, according to the New York Daily News. The men were $1 million in debt and six months behind on their rent in the days before the alleged heist, police said.

But police became suspicious because the alleged robbery looked a lot like the opening scene of the 2000 film "Snatch," directed by Guy Ritchie, in which Benicio Del Toro and a gang of diamond thieves pose as Chasids.

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