A longtime Manayunk business owner was struck over the head with the butt of a handgun during a brazen, daytime robbery Tuesday on Main Street, according to police at the scene.
A.I. Poland Jewelers, located at 4347 Main St., was only open for about a half-hour Tuesday morning when a man entered the store and asked to see a product, said 5th District Philadelphia Police Cpt. John Cerrone.
When the owner went to the back of the store to retrieve the item, the man confronted a female employee with a gun, Cerrone said.
When the owner emerged from the rear of the store, he was struck with a gun. Both the owner, identified as Victor Ostroff, and the employee, who was not identified, had their hands bound with an unspecified material.
After the two were bound, a second man entered the store, at which time the suspects “ransacked” the store, Cerrone said.
“They made out with an undetermined amount of jewelry,” Cerrone said.
The two men finally fled the store sometime after 11:30 or thereabouts, the captain said.
One man was described as a black male about six feet tall with a goatee, and wearing blue jeans and perhaps some sort of wig.
Police did not offer a clear description of the second suspect, although he, too, may have been wearing a wig or disguise.
“We don’t have a clear direction of flight, but [they] may have headed south here on Main, and then onto a side street,” Cerrone said.
Ostroff and his employee eventually broke free from their bindings and contacted police.
There was a decent police presence Tuesday late morning and early afternoon at the crime scene, located near the intersection of Main and Grape streets.
Uniformed officers guarded the door while investigators took statements inside and looked for clues.
Plainclothes officers from the 5th and 39th districts combed the neighborhood looking for surveillance cameras that might have caught the duo.
At about 1 p.m., detectives arrived onscene and fanned throughout the neighborhood, also looking for clues and any information that might be helpful to the investigation.
A small crowd gathered outside while police and emergency medical personnel attended to the victims.
Many expressed shock such a thing not only happened in normally crime-free Manayunk, but to a longstanding business owner like Ostroff.
“He’s the nicest guy,” said Jerry Yellin, owner of L’Etoile Salon and Spa, located across from the jewelry shop. “He’s just unassuming and really great. He’s great for the street.”
“Friends for years,” was how Bruce Cooper, a local business owner and president of Manayunk’s business association, described Ostroff.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Cooper said on his reaction upon learning the news of the armed robbery.
Ostroff apparently suffered a head wound, but it wasn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, police said. Paramedics apparently treated him inside his store.
Cerrone, the police captain, said this type of violent crime is extremely rare in Manayunk, and his 5th district as a whole.
“This does not happen frequently here,” he said. “We are not faced with this type of crime very often. Obviously, violent crime is a major concern.”
Patch will continue to bring you more information about this robbery as it becomes available.