$1M Stolen in Jewelry Store Heist: Cops

Police say armed men tied up the owner in his South St. store while they stole the jewelry.

Police say that armed men stole around $1 million in cash and jewelry from a store in South Philadelphia.

Mustapha Aballah, owner of South Philadelphia’s VIP Jewelers, also owns an apartment above the store located on the 600 block of South Street. On Thursday, around 4 a.m., Aballah woke up to four armed men in the bedroom. The men, who Aballah tells NBC Philadelphia were armed with machine guns, tied his hands and covered his head with a pillowcase.

Aballah also claims that the men said to him in Arabic, "say your prayers, you're going to die."

According to police, the gunmen then demanded cash and the keys to access the jewelry.

Two of the suspects made their way into the store downstairs while the other two stayed with the owner.

Aballah tells NBC Philadelphia that the men cleaned out four showcases.

The suspects got away with almost $1 million in jewelry -- diamonds and high-end gold and watches -- and $6,000 in cash.

Police are investigating how the robbers got inside the apartment. Police also say that someone robbed the store last month, stealing a $120,000 watch and a $40,000 necklace. That person was never caught.

The store's manager is currently checking to see if the robbery was caught on surveillance tape.

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