STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–Stamford police are looking for a man they say used a wheelchair as a disguise to steal a $25,000 Rolex watch from a jewelry store in the Stamford mall Saturday.
On the surveillance video, the man is seen trying on the watch at Sidney Thomas Jewelers. The saleswoman takes the watch from behind a glass case and hands it right to him. Then, the man bolts out of his wheelchair and out the door with the watch on his wrist.
On his way out the door, police say he sprayed some type of pepper spray in the air before making his getaway. You can see on the video, he’s even stunned the security guard standing just a few feet away.
Unlike the watch thief Stamford police are hoping to catch, 95-year-old Irwin Alpertson is also in a wheelchair, but he really does need it.
It is difficult for him to get out of his wheelchair with out assistance. It’s the expectation that people in wheelchairs are like Irwin that may have worked to the jewel thief’s advantage.
“If a person is in a wheelchair they are there for a reason, right?” said Donna, a Stamford resident. “They either can’t walk, or they are sick.”
Another resident, Gregory Garf, said he wouldn’t let this wheelchair ruse fool him one bit. “You can tell when someone is really going to buy something because they are eager to make the purchase,” said Garf.
Although the watch thief may not have been eager to buy, police are eager to catch him. They are asking anyone who recognizes him to come forward and call 203-977-4417.