JERSEY CITY — The owner of a jewelry store who told police he was robbed of nearly a half-million dollars in cash and jewels Sunday afternoon said he carried no insurance on his inventory.

Five masked men entered Sara Jewelry on Newark Avenue in Jersey City around 4:35 p.m. and stole $20,000 in cash and an unknown amount of jewelry, according to Jersey City police spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione. They left the store in two separate vehicles.

Owner Waheed Akbary told ABC 7 Eyewitness News the robbers ordered three women working at the store and five customers to the ground and broke display cases as they stole $480,000 worth of jewelry. One of the customers was a 3-year-old toddler.

Akbary's wife, who was working at the time, said one of the robbers threatened to shoot her if she didn't open the safe. Another employee was threatened with a weapon because the thieves thought that she had pushed a "panic button" to call police.

Waheed Akbary told NBC 4 New York it took the robbers two minutes to clean him out, They stuffed the jewelry into black bags during the robbery, which was captured on video by a business across the street.

A total financial loss

Waheed Akbary said he did not have insurance for any of his inventory despite previous jewelry store robberies on the street

"No insurance for any of the product. We thought the street is safe because there's always cops here," he told NBC 4 New York.

Employees said there was at least one other jewelry store robbed this year.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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