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Leon Fenner, suspect accused of pistol-whipping someone in diamond district heist, in custody

Police ride scooters away from the building on

Police ride scooters away from the building on 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues where a jewelry heist took place on Nov.11, 2014. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Kevin Hagen

The man accused of posing as a delivery man and pistol whipping someone during a brazen daytime robbery in the diamond district was in custody Thursday, the second person to be arrested in the high-value heist.

Dressed smartly in suit and tie, Leon Fenner, 58, posed as a messenger who wanted to "serve the owner with papers" at Watch Standard on West 47th Street on Nov. 11, according to the criminal complaint.

He is accused of planning the robbery with 37-year-old Rondu "The Reef" Frisby, allegedly exchanging more than two dozen calls before and after.

Fenner was charged with interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, according to the criminal complaint.

He was awaiting a transfer to New York on Thursday after being taken into custody on Wednesday in Suitland, Maryland, about a half-hour outside of Washington, D.C. The circumstances surrounding his capture were not immediately clear.

According to the criminal complaint, Frisby had arrived at the eighth floor store, only moments before letting Fenner in. The store is not normally open to the public and was locked at the time.

The store's owner told investigators Frisby was "a friend, who also sometimes conducts business with."

Immediately after walking in, Fenner pulled out two yellow envelopes and said he wanted to give them to the owner, according to the criminal complaint. He then allegedly pulled out a gun, pointed it the group, including Frisby, and demanded all the jewelry.

Fenner was later identified by his fingerprints on one of the envelopes, according to court records.

While the group, including Frisby, started emptying the safe, a relative of the owner came in, according to court records. Fenner immediately pistol-whipped the relative before three other people who knew the owner then arrived. They saw a third man guarding the hallway, but Fenner left with that man shortly after.

More than 20 luxury watches and other expensive gold jewelry were stolen, including, according to court records. It was not immediately clear what happened to the stolen merchandise.

Phone records show that Frisby spoke to Fenner six minutes before the robbery started, according to the complaint. They allegedly spoke both before and after the attack on Frisby's two phones: a "regular" and a "secret" phone.

Frisby's attorney, Peter Frankel, has said Frisby pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and declined to comment further. An attorney who temporarily represented Fenner in Maryland declined to comment.

Shortly after the robbery police released a video of two suspects seen separately, pacing in front of the stores along the well-trafficked street, apparently before the robbery.

Frisby was apparently walking in front of Fenner and not pictured on the video, according to the complaint.


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