Trio swipe $8.3 million in New York jewel heist on New Year's Eve

A group of opportunistic thieves waited until the ball dropped at the stroke of midnight to pull off a multi-million dollar jewel heist in New York City.

The three burglars, hooded and masked, broke into a West 36th jewellery store Gregg Ruth at 12.01am Sunday (local time).

CCTV showed one of the robbers staring directly at the camera in the middle of the crime.

The New York Post reported it appeared the crime was an inside job, as police were distracted by the nearby celebrations at Times Square.

The group made off with $8.3M AUD in gems ($6M USD) and were still at large, according to NYPD.

The commercial jewellery store is known for its rare diamonds.

The thieves entered using a hammer and crowbar to break the lock, gaining access to a room with four safes, according to the New York Post.

CCTV release by NYPD after the jewel heist.
CCTV release by NYPD after the jewel heist.

It’s reported the suspects made off with 18-carat gold bracelets, earrings and necklaces.

Footage showed one of the suspects talking on a phone as he opened the safe. It’s suspected he was being told a combination from a fourth person.

The three men fled down a stairwell.

A building worker told the New York Post they felt the crime was “real fishy” and suspected it was an “inside job”.

He felt it was likely the thieves knew the business would be empty when they gained access.

It was also claimed the group would’ve needed a key or someone to have left the entrance open for them.

Police said the jewellery storeowner had been out of the country in India.