A New York jewelry dealer was robbed at gunpoint at a hotel in Burlingame.
As The Examiner reported in early December, jewelry dealers who arrive from the East Coast to conduct business in the Bay Area — and specifically on the Peninsula — are often targeted by robbers.
In the most recent case, which occurred Wednesday morning, a 31-year-old New York man was loading merchandise into his car in the parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Burlingame, 1177 Airport Blvd., when two men approached him from behind, police said.
One had a small silver handgun and demanded the dealer’s jewelry.
The robbers also stole the man’s watch, cell phone, car keys and various documents.
The pair fled in a waiting silver four-door car with no license plates and headed north on Bayshore Highway, police said.
The man was not injured during the robbery.
One robber was described as a white man with blond hair, 25 to 30 years old and wearing gray gloves. The second was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black mask and black gloves.
Police did not get a description of the driver of the getaway car.
The San Francisco metro area is a hotbed for jewelry heists, ranking as the fourth-most active city in the nation, according to statistics from the Jewelers Security Alliance, a nonprofit trade association based in New York.
The crimes usually are committed by two- to three-person units, and they often occur at hotels or gas stations, San Bruno police Cmdr. Matt Campi has told The Examiner.
Despite the regularity of the robberies, little is known about the people who commit the crimes.
Several jewelers and law enforcement officials said the suspects could be from South America.
Where heists occur
The most active states annually, by percentage of total incidents:
New York: 10.5
Robbery statistics for 2008:
Most active metropolitan areas:
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
Source: Jewelers Security Alliance