Cartier heist suspect identified

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IOL pic mar19 new york cartier heist suspect Reuters Ralik Hansen, 28, is seen in an image taken by a surveillance camera in the Cartier jewellery store in New York on January, 2014. The image was released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on March 18, 2014. Hansen has been charged in the midday robbery of Cartier in midtown Manhattan and is being sought by the FBI and the New York City Police Department. Picture: FBI, via Reuters

New York - A man with links to an interstate robbery crew was being sought in connection with the daytime heist of a Cartier jewellery store in New York City in January, the FBI said on Tuesday.

Ralik Hansen, 28, has been charged with robbery following the January 31 smash-and-grab of a Cartier store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, the FBI said in a press release. He remained at large, the FBI said.

Hansen also is accused of participating in at least two robberies in New Jersey and Virginia, the FBI said.

“Hansen is a member of a violent interstate robbery crew from Brooklyn and has family in the state of Georgia and the country of Panama,” the statement said.

Authorities say Hansen was one of five masked men who stormed the Cartier store and used hammers to smash glass displays and grab more than $700 000 worth of watches before disappearing into crowds of midday shoppers and tourists on Fifth Avenue.

Four other people have been arrested in connection with the Cartier robbery and linked to the crime ring, the FBI said. The crew's high-profile heists included a smash-and-grab attack on a jewellery store inside the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City last July, authorities said.

A day after the Cartier robbery, two of the suspects were arrested in Brooklyn while wearing the stolen watches, police said.

The other two suspects were arrested by New York City police in February.

Allen Williams, 35; Roberto Grant, 33; Terrell Ratliff, 22; and Tyrone DeHoyos, 35, have all been charged with interstate robbery, conspiracy and other charges, the FBI said.

Hansen's whereabouts remained unknown, and the FBI and New York City police said they were seeking information leading to his arrest and offering a “significant” reward. - Reuters

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