• Two men who posed as NYPD officers were arrested after robbing a jewelry store in Manhattan 
  • Ismael Igartua and Jose Ramirez were buzzed into the store while dressed as cops
  • The suspects told the owner they are examining firearms due to looting
  • Both got away with more than $150,000 worth of jewelry
  • They were later arrested at a nearby subway station

Two men who posed as NYPD cops pulled off a daring daytime heist, robbing a jewelry store of more than $150,000 amid ongoing protests over the death of African-American George Floyd in the city.

The United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York said in a press release that Ismael Igartua and Jose Ramirez were arrested for their participation in an armed robbery Saturday (June 6). Both suspects are 59 years old. Igartua lives in Queens, while Ramirez resides in the Bronx.

The suspects were “buzzed” into a jewelry store on 92nd Street at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday while “dressed as and identifying themselves” as members of the NYPD. According to Fox News, the store owner let them in after believing that they were officers from the 19th Precinct.

The representational photo shows a handcuffed man at the police headquarters in Lille, northern France, Nov. 29, 2018. Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

After asking for permission to enter the jewelry store, Igartua and Ramirez asked the store owner if they could examine their “properly permitted firearm.” They went on to explain that firearms are at risk of being stolen due to looting that has been affecting commercial establishments in New York City.

The store owner complied and handed the faux cops the gun. Once they were in possession of the firearm, Igartua and Ramirez, both of whom had guns of their own, tied the storeowner's wrists with zip-tie, stole his gun and got away with more than $150,000 worth of jewelry.

Igartua and Ramirez also wore bulletproof vests and one of them brandished what appeared to be a detective badge, prosecutors told Fox News.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said the suspects “took advantage of uncertain conditions” in New York and that they are preying on the fears of a small business owner and his trust in law enforcement.

“This alleged criminal conduct is intolerable,” Berman said in a statement.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on the other hand said that the alleged impersonation of a police officer while an international pandemic plagues the city is dangerous to both civilians and police officers.

The store owner quickly called the police who later arrested the suspects at a nearby subway station.

Igartua and Ramirez were charged with robbery conspiracy, robbery and brandishing a firearm.

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney, Jr. lauded the efforts of the 19th Precinct Detective Squad and the FBI-NYPD Joint Major Theft Task Force for solving the crime and that it has brought justice to a small business owner in the community.

“The only jewelry these men will wind up with are metal bracelets,” he said.