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Dramatic photos show $4M NYC Diamond District heist by fedora-wearing pistol-toting thief

A man who robbed a NYC Diamond District store of $4million worth of jewelry in 2019 should serve 14 years in prison, prosecutors argued on Monday.

New surveillance footage of the fedora-wearing thief carrying out the heist in midtown Manhattan was also released as part of a new sentencing submission filed by federal prosecutors.

Stills of the video show Jaysean Sutton, 43, wearing a fedora and blue suit as he brandished a pistol in the back room of the Avianne and Co. jewelry store.

He and two others then bound employees with zip ties and duct tape. The three thieves, which include Sutton, Pedro Davila, 30, and a final unnamed suspect, then made off with around $3.4million in jewelry, wrote US attorney Alexander Li.

After fleeing the state Sutton was arrested in a North Carolina hotel in October 2019, the submission said.

Sutton, who had been sentenced to five drugs and firearms charges before the robbery, plead guilty to the jewelry shop heist in January of this year.

Sutton plead guilty to the jewelry shop heist in January – the thief can be seen here pulling a gun out in the store

An image released as part of a sentencing submission on Monday shows Sutton as he took one of the store's employees to a room and forced him to open a safe at gunpoint

An image released as part of a sentencing submission on Monday shows Sutton as he took one of the store’s employees to a room and forced him to open a safe at gunpoint 

Sutton has been convicted of at least five firearms and drugs charges in New York and Connecticut. He was arrested a few months after the heist in a North Carolina hotel

Sutton has been convicted of at least five firearms and drugs charges in New York and Connecticut. He was arrested a few months after the heist in a North Carolina hotel

The stolen items were said by federal prosecutor Alexander Li to be worth $3.4million, which he argued was indicative of 'the audacity of the crime'

The stolen items were said by federal prosecutor Alexander Li to be worth $3.4million, which he argued was indicative of ‘the audacity of the crime’

The West 47th street store is known for catering to various celebrities including Nicki Minaj and Migos.

At around 11.30am on August 25, 2019 – just 10 days after being released from state parole – Sutton entered the jewelry store with Davila and the unnamed accomplice.

At around 11.42 Sutton met with several employees in a back room of the store, Li says in the submission.

There while he sat speaking with them in the room Sutton brandished a silver pistol before instructing them to the ground and binding four of the store’s employees with duct tape and zip ties, wrote Li.

Once secure Sutton began looting the shop and used his gun to force one of the employees into another room to open a locked safe.

Part of the submission – a still from the surveillance footage – shows Sutton at the safe with the bound employee.

Over the course of 15 minutes the three thieves tossed various pieces of jewelry into large bags as employees lay bound on the ground, footage shows. 

Sutton, Davila and the final unnamed thief then ransacked the rest of the store, leaving at around 11.58am with an estimated $3.4million-worth of jewelry in their bags. 

A couple of months later on October 7, 2019, Sutton was arrested at a hotel in North Carolina.  

In January this year Sutton pleaded guilty to the robbery as well as the lesser offences of possessing the firearm.

Armed thieves pulled off the midday heist at Avianne & Co. jewelry store in the Diamond District of New York City

Armed thieves pulled off the midday heist at Avianne & Co. jewelry store in the Diamond District of New York City

Jaysean Sutton, 43, and Pedro Davila (pictured), 30, are two of the three suspects in the 2019 robbery of Avianne and Co. in Manhattan's Diamond District

Jaysean Sutton, 43, and Pedro Davila (pictured), 30, are two of the three suspects in the 2019 robbery of Avianne and Co. in Manhattan’s Diamond District

Avianne and Co. have a history of selling jewelry to celebrity clientele, including rappers like Migos and Blueface (left)

Avianne and Co. have a history of selling jewelry to celebrity clientele, including rappers like Migos and Blueface (left)

Sutton has a number of prior convictions and has served multiple stints in prison for charges relating to firearms and drugs. 

In 2000 Sutton was charged with drug and weapons offenses in New York, for which he was sentenced to six months in prison.

And in 2002 he was found guilty of Connecticut assault and firearms offenses for which he was sentenced to a total of three years in prison.

Then in 2003 he was sentenced to five years in prison for a Connecticut coercion offense.

In 2005 he was convicted of another Connecticut firearms offense and sentenced to a year in prison.

Finally in 2007 he received his longest sentence of five years in prison for a New York firearms offense.

Now persecutor Alexander Li is seeking a 14 year sentence for Sutton. He wrote in the submission to the federal judge:

‘Sutton robbed a jewelry store in Midtown Manhattan in broad daylight and with high-definition surveillance footage rolling. On camera, Sutton brandished a gun while employees lay bound on the floor.

‘Though the $3.4 million he looted is not a perfect measure of the seriousness of his crime, it is a proxy for the audacity of the crime in the public consciousness.’

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