Jewelry store owner held at gunpoint during robbery in Chatham

A jewelry store owner in Morris County says that she was bound and held at gunpoint while two men stole merchandise from her store Thursday morning.

Joanne Prisco and her husband Don own Crescent Jewelers on Main Street in Chatham. Prisco says that around 11 a.m. two men came into the shop while she was alone. She says that the men put a gun to her head, tied her hands with tape and demanded that she give them the keys to unlock the showcases.

The men apparently stole 200 to 300 diamond rings, necklaces and bracelets worth roughly $3,000 to $10,000 apiece. Prisco says that it took about 15 minutes for the robbers to nearly clear the store out.

The shop did not have any security cameras. Prisco says that she's always felt safe in the store.

"I felt safe being here by myself, I had a panic button, but of course I didn't have it in my hand," she says.

Her husband Don believes the men actually came into the shop Wednesday, prior to the robbery. That time he was also in the shop.

"When I walked out I stunned him, he got really nervous because he thought she was here by herself," says Don. "Maybe they were planning on doing it yesterday, then when they saw me they decided not to."

"I guess I'm just naïve," says Prisco. "I thought he was coming back for a ring."

A neighboring business owner says that he saw the men as they walked out of the shop. He says they drove away in a silver Jeep.

Detectives from the Chatham Township Police Department were at the scene collecting evidence. Anyone who might have any information about the crime is urged to call them at 973-377-0100.

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