NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – A rabbi was robbed by three gunmen in North Miami after they followed him from an Aventura jewelry store, police said.
The armed robbery happened about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in an alley near West Dixie Highway and Northeast 140th Street.
North Miami police said the man had just left the Jewelry Exchange in Aventura when he was followed and robbed as he got out of his car.
The victim, who lives in upstate New York, was a rabbi and diamond dealer who was in South Florida for business.
Surveillance video shows a white car pull up behind the rabbi's rental car, blocking him in. Three men then get out of the car and rob the rabbi.
Police said the robbers got away with $35,000 worth of diamonds.
Local 10 News crime specialist John Turchin said Chaim Parnes was pistol-whipped and his car's tires were slashed before the robbers left.
"I was very scared, yes," Parnes told Turchin.
Parnes said the men were screaming for him to give them his vest, where he usually keeps the diamonds. This time, however, they were in his pants pockets.
"Was there a point you thought they might kill you?" Turchin asked.
"Yes, sure," Parnes said, mentioning the gun pointed at his head.
Parnes said he was thankful that what happened to him wasn't worse.
"If (you) take away life, (it) doesn't come back," Parnes said. "So I'm thankful for God. Today's Thanksgiving. I'm giving up big time for God."
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