Pennsylvania jewelry heist mastermind gets 30 months in federal prison

Amit Patel

The mastermind behind a 1.1 million jewelry theft at a Pennsylvania hotel has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Amit Patel (also known as Alex Patel) 49, of Mason, Ohio, had pleaded guilty to robbing two New York traveling jewelry salesmen at a jewelry show at the Monroeville convention center in April 2016.

In addition, Patel will also have to pay $1.1 million in restitution, which represents the value of the diamonds, gold and gems he stole with the help of four compatriots, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report said.

KDKA-TV reported at the time that the robbery took place in the parking lot of the Udipi Cafe restaurant. According to the news station, the men robbed were jewelry dealers who had stopped to pick up take-out food. While one man went inside the restaurant, his co-worker was assaulted in his vehicle and suitcases full of jewelry were stolen. 

According to WCPO 9 Cincinnati, a parking lot surveillance video at the time showed four people running from a waiting car and toward the jewelry dealers’ van, and then running back carrying suitcases.

The robbers punched the victim in the van, according to Pittsburgh media reports.

The defendants were charged with one count of conspiring to commit a Hobbs Act robbery. The Hobbs Act is a federal law prohibiting interference with interstate commerce and violating the law is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott sentenced Deanna Williams, 37, to three years; Mimi Chang, 42, to two years; Danny Ray Horne, 39, to 105 months; and Andrea Mullins, 36, to six months of home confinement, in addition to jail time served since the September 2017 indictment.

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