NYPD probe armed gang targeting top-end Manhattan venues after a string of violent jewelry robberies

New York City Police are investigating an armed gang terrorizing Manhattan in a string robberies – including a shooting at an Upper East Side restaurant that left terrified diners fleeing after a victim was shot in the leg.  

Surveillance footage shows terrified Manhattan diners caught up in the lastest  brazen robbery, this time at Philippe Chow on the Upper East Side after 10pm on Wednesday when two masked, armed men attempted to rob two men of their Rolex watches.  

They stole one man’s Rolex watch and shot a 28-year-old man on a first date in the leg when he tried to grab the robber’s weapon.  

Chief of Detectives James Essig said the police are looking for three suspects who drove away in a Black SUV. 

At a press conference on Thursday, Essig said, ‘We are currently looking at other familiar similar patterns in the precinct. And we’ll be getting video out and pictures out to the public to ask for their help in this crime.’

Police said a 28-year-old male, identified as Melchior Cooke, was dinning outside Philippe Chow when an armed man stepped up to his table minutes after 10 pm and demanded his watch. He was shot in the leg when he wrestled the gun away from the robber. A 31-year-old man was also approached at the restaurant at the same time and robbed him of his Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner watch

Police said a 28-year-old male, identified as Melchior Cooke, was dinning outside Philippe Chow when an armed man stepped up to his table minutes after 10 pm and demanded his watch. He was shot in the leg when he wrestled the gun away from the robber. A 31-year-old man was also approached at the restaurant at the same time and robbed him of his Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner watch

 Police said a 28-year-old male, identified as Melchior Cooke, was dinning outside Philippe Chow when an armed man stepped up to his table minutes after 10 pm and demanded his watch. He was shot in the leg when he wrestled the gun away from the robber. A 31-year-old man was also approached at the restaurant at the same time and robbed him of his Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner watch

Chief of Detectives James Essig said police 'are currently looking at other familiar similar patterns in the precinct'

Chief of Detectives James Essig said police 'are currently looking at other familiar similar patterns in the precinct'

Chief of Detectives James Essig said police ‘are currently looking at other familiar similar patterns in the precinct’

Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams had lunch at Philippe Chow on Thursday, the day after the brazen armed robbery

Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams had lunch at Philippe Chow on Thursday, the day after the brazen armed robbery

Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams had lunch at Philippe Chow on Thursday, the day after the brazen armed robbery 

Adams addressed New York City residents condemning the crime and insisting that he has a plan to make the city safe

Adams addressed New York City residents condemning the crime and insisting that he has a plan to make the city safe

Adams addressed New York City residents condemning the crime and insisting that he has a plan to make the city safe

Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams returned to the scene of the crime the next day to dine with restaurant owner Philippe Chow, eating at the same table where Melchior Cooke, 28, was shot.  

‘This is not a restaurant where crime problems are happening, but for someone to come by and attempt a robbery while you sit down and enjoy a meal is just unacceptable,’ Adams said. 

Before sitting down to dig into his vegan meal, Adams said, ‘Our restaurants are really the bellwether of how well we recover. And I constantly state that the prerequisite of our prosperity is public safety.’ 

‘The boldness of those who want to hurt New Yorkers are looking to prey on innocent people no matter where they are … if we ignore this problem in Brownsville it is going to spill over on Broadway,’ he continued. 

Adams had lunch at the restaurant to show New Yorkers that they should not be afraid. 

‘Let’s patronize this restaurant and tell those who want to intimate us with crime, we are not fleeing from crime. We are not going to shut down our city. We did not shut down from a pandemic and darn it we are not going to shut down for crime.’ 

Adams shared his plan to handle crime if elected mayor. ‘We need to reinstitute our anti-gun unit, plainclothes unit to go out to target the gangs and guns, and get them off our streets.’ 

According to police, one man wore a white hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. One man wore a black shirt and black shorts. Both were armed. The third suspect is believed to have remained in the getaway car.   

Essing said, ‘A black 9mm handgun with a shell casing lodged in the slide was recovered. Thankfully, it was unable to be fired after that first round or else other innocent people could have been injured.’ 

The armed robbery at Philippe Chow is the latest in a string of armed robberies targeting  expensive jewelry

The armed robbery at Philippe Chow is the latest in a string of armed robberies targeting  expensive jewelry

The armed robbery at Philippe Chow is the latest in a string of armed robberies targeting  expensive jewelry

Police arrived on the scene late Wednesday night to recover a black 9mm handgun and watch surveillance footage of the armed robbery

Police arrived on the scene late Wednesday night to recover a black 9mm handgun and watch surveillance footage of the armed robbery

Police arrived on the scene late Wednesday night to recover a black 9mm handgun and watch surveillance footage of the armed robbery

'(The robber) said, "Hey, it’s a stickup." They wanted our jewelry,' the victim’s date told the Daily News. 'My date started to fight him for the gun. He shot him. It was the left leg. It was our first date. I’m still in shock'

'(The robber) said, "Hey, it’s a stickup." They wanted our jewelry,' the victim’s date told the Daily News. 'My date started to fight him for the gun. He shot him. It was the left leg. It was our first date. I’m still in shock'

‘(The robber) said, ‘Hey, it’s a stickup.’ They wanted our jewelry,’ the victim’s date told the Daily News. ‘My date started to fight him for the gun. He shot him. It was the left leg. It was our first date. I’m still in shock’

Cooke is currently recovering at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell and remains in stable condition, according to his mother

Cooke is currently recovering at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell and remains in stable condition, according to his mother

Cooke is currently recovering at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell and remains in stable condition, according to his mother 

Cooke was shot in the left leg when he began fighting off the armed robber. He was taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell, where he is currently in stable condition.

‘(The robber) said, ‘Hey, it’s a stickup.’ They wanted our jewelry,’ the victim’s date told the Daily News. ‘My date started to fight him for the gun. He shot him. It was the left leg. It was our first date. I’m still in shock.’

Cooke’s mother, Lisa Cooke, told The New York Post that Cooke ‘is in a lot of pain but he is stable,’ she said, explaining that the bullet exited his body during the shooting.

‘When I first got the text [about the attack], I was shaking,’ she said. ‘I’m just glad that he didn’t get killed.’ 

Wayne Lawrence, 50, a regional manager at Il Mulino next door to Philippe Chow, saw the shooting happen and jumped into action to help Cooke. 

Lawrence told The Post, ‘[One] guy approached him. They got into a scuffle,’ and then, ‘I just saw him on the floor and there was a lot of blood. He wasn’t even moaning or anything. It just looked like he was about to pass out. I smacked him in the face.’  

The restaurant manager remembered, ‘I went outside and I saw the kid on the floor … I pulled the sheet off the tablecloth and wrapped it around his legs and tied it tight. My best buddy took his belt off and tied it [on him].’

‘It was a lot of blood,’ he recounted. ‘It ruined my $500 jacket.’ 

NYPD Lieutenant Lieutenant Thomas Antonetti told MailOnline that, after Cooke was shot and his assailant relinquished the handgun, he managed to bring it inside the restaurant where it was recovered by police

NYPD Lieutenant Lieutenant Thomas Antonetti told MailOnline that, after Cooke was shot and his assailant relinquished the handgun, he managed to bring it inside the restaurant where it was recovered by police

NYPD Lieutenant Lieutenant Thomas Antonetti told MailOnline that, after Cooke was shot and his assailant relinquished the handgun, he managed to bring it inside the restaurant where it was recovered by police

No suspects have been arrested in connection to Wednesday night's shooting at the high-end restaurant

No suspects have been arrested in connection to Wednesday night's shooting at the high-end restaurant

No suspects have been arrested in connection to Wednesday night’s shooting at the high-end restaurant 

Philippe Chow is a favorite of celebrities like Rihana and Nicki Minaj

Philippe Chow is a favorite of celebrities like Rihana and Nicki Minaj

Philippe Chow is a favorite of celebrities like Rihana and Nicki Minaj 

Craig Fournier, a plastic surgeon fellow at Manhattan Eye Ear and Throat Hospital, was out at dinner on Wednesday night when he witnessed Cooke struggling to disarm with the family. 

‘Glasses were shattering. We saw the victim kinda staggering down the sidewalk, bleeding profusely and [he] collapsed. He threw the gun to the side,’ Fournier told The Post. ‘People were running, afraid and for safety.’

‘When we saw the victim staggering down the street bleeding profusely, we had to take action,’ he said. Fournier rushed to help Cooke applying pressure and a tourniquet to his wound. 

Another witness told The Post, ‘There were two shots. Everybody came running in, screaming.’ They said, ‘It’s hard to believe it was a robbery. They were eating dinner out front. It looked like they were targeted. It’s crazy.’ 

NYPD Lieutenant Lieutenant Thomas Antonetti told DailyMail.com that, after the victim was shot the assailant dropped the handgun, and the victim managed to take it inside the restaurant where it was recovered by police.

Antonetti said the robbers, who are assumed to be in their 20s, fled the scene in a heading westbound. Police have surveillance video of the suspects and are searching for them. They plan to release the footage. 

NYPD are still hunting thieves who they say have been responsible for a pair of recent high-end jewelry heists in Manhattan that may be connected.

According to the NYPD, at around 4:20am on August 14, a 47-year-old man and his 27-year-old companion had just walked out of the trendy TAO Downtown on 9th Avenue when they were accosted by a duo that got out of a Mercedes-Benz parked on the corner of West 30th Street and Broadway.

As seen in surveillance video released by the police, one of the occupants of the black Mercedes pulls a gun on the two men. The victims then remove and hand over various items of jewelry, which investigators said included chains, necklaces, rings, and a luxury Richard Mille watch, which was worn by the 47-year-old man. 

The thieves got away with $4million worth of baubles belonging to the 47-year-old man, and they also pilfered a $10,000 medallion necklace from his younger companion. Neither victim was harmed. 

Less than a week later, just after 1am on August 19, a 34-year-old man was walking towards Broadway after leaving Pergola restaurant on West 28th Street when, just like during the first heist, a black Mercedes-Benz pulled over, two men exited the vehicle and robbed the late-night reveler at gunpoint.

This time, the bandits plundered a Cuban necklace, a tennis bracelet and a high-end Audemar watch, with a total value of $100,000.

The larcenists were last seen escaping in their black Mercedes-Benz. 

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