The peaceful and upscale town of Burlingame temporarily became a hotbed for international organized crime earlier this year when an unwitting New Yorker arrived with a duffel bag full of sparkling jewels.
On Jan. 13, the jewelry wholesaler was leaving the Crown Hotel with 300 trinkets worth $200,000 when he was allegedly accosted at gunpoint by two people working for a South American mob, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Thugs in the internationally known crime syndicate are gems of the jewelry theft business, but they’re not known for their charm, authorities said. The robbers allegedly waited for the New Yorker to stash the duffel bag in his trunk before approaching, guns in hand, from behind, according to officials.
The jeweler called Burlingame police right after the robbery, which was perfect timing, cops said, as two hours later they were called by a Los Angeles detective that was hunting the syndicate with an FBI task force.
Later that day, prosecutors said, authorities managed to track down two suspect cars in Los Angeles, one that contained the New Yorker’s jewelry.
Six people ranging in age from 24 to 40 were arrested and are scheduled to return to a San Mateo County courtroom Aug. 20.