CHATHAM, NJ - Three armed black males robbed Crescent Jewelers at gunpoint on Main Street in Chatham just before noon on Thursday, making an escape in a gray or silver Jeep Cherokee, according to Chatham Borough Police.
"They put a gun to my head, duct-taped me and robbed," Joanne Prisco, one of the proprietors, said. "I was the only person there. I was only open for 15 minutes when they came in."
The suspects had come to case the jewelry store located at 251 Main St. the day before (Wednesday).
"They were here yesterday (Wednesday) asking me questions," Prisco said. "I was nice enough to clean their jewelry for nothing. They were asking me how much does it cost to have jewelry cleaned. I told them I wouldn't charge them to clean the jewelry and they were on their way. They came back today."
After the robbery, Prisco freed herself and called the police. Two of the men had entered the store and one was waiting in the getaway car.
"I pushed the duct tape, pushed the panic button and I was trying to call the Chatham police and they said it was a recording and to call 9-1-1," Prisco said. "I called 9-1-1 and the lady kept me on the phone and by that time the police came."
Don and Jillian Prisco have owned Crescent Jewelers for 35 years and this is the first time the establishment has ever been robbed.
"We had the windows broken once, that's the only thing that's happened before this," Jillian Prisco said.
The Chatham Borough Police sent out description of the three males.
"One black male driver described as having a stocky build, bald with a thick beard," the police said. "The two suspects who committed the robbery are described as a short black male in his 50s with a skinny build and the other a young black male about 6-feet tall."
According to the police, one male was wearing shorts with a red shirt and the other was wearing a reflective-type traffic vest. The two men left the store carrying two tyvek-type shopping bags and entered a gray or silver Jeep Cherokee and traveled east on Main Street.
Anyone with information about this robbery should contact Detective Dan Walsh of the Chatham Borough Police Department at 973-635-8000.