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Hasidic Diamond Heist Wasn't Kosher: Not Real Thieves, Not Even Jewish

(New York Police Department)
NEW YORK (CBS) Two New York Diamond District wholesalers were so desperate to get out of debt that they hired three men to dress up as Hasidic Jews and rob their store at gunpoint, police said Tuesday.

Photo: Fake Hasidic Jews in 2008 robbery.

Investigators became suspicious after the 2008 robbery when they discovered that the two owners, Atul Shah, 48, and Mahaveer Kankariya, 43, took out a new insurance policy just before the heist.

Video: Surveillance footage from the New York Post.

One of the phony bandits is currently being questioned at the Midtown North stationhouse, sources told the New York Post.

The whole thing was set up," one source told the paper, adding that enhanced video surveillance footage showed the owners stealing the jewelry prior to the fake heist.

The second robber is apparently still at large.

Shah and Kankariya were charged Feb. 23 with grand larceny, insurance fraud and falsifying business records in connection with the bogus gunpoint robbery at their Midtown store on New Years Eve 2008.
  • Carlin Miller

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