Three Men Charged with Violent Robbery of Stamford Jeweler
United States Attorney John H. Durham, Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg, Stamford Acting Police Chief Thomas Wuennemann and Greenwich Police Chief James J. Heavey today announced that ROBERT RALLO, 56, of Brooklyn, New York, THOMAS LIBERATORE, 62, of White Plains, New York, and PAUL PROSANO, also known as “Tony Pro,” 59, of Brooklyn, have been charged with federal robbery offenses in connection with the March 28 robbery of Marco Jewelers in Stamford, Connecticut. During the robbery, the owner of Marco Jewelers was shot and killed.
As alleged in court documents, on March 28, 2020, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Stamford Police Officers responded to Marco Jewelers, located at 16 Sixth Street in Stamford. When officers arrived, they found evidence of a robbery and encountered the storeowner, Mark Vuono, lying on the ground in front of an open safe. Emergency medical personnel arrived and pronounced Vuono deceased.
It is further alleged that investigators collected and analyzed surveillance video from Marco Jewelers, surrounding businesses and Stamford city cameras. Video obtained from Marco Jewelers revealed that, on March 28, Prosano drove Rallo and Liberatore in a black Jaguar to Marco Jewelers. Rallo and Liberatore then entered the store. Rallo, armed with a handgun, engaged in a physical altercation with Vuono, while Liberatore stole items from the display cases. Vuono, who also possessed a firearm, and Rallo struggled next to a large open safe. During the struggle, Rallo reached into the safe and pulled out a third firearm, a .357 Magnum revolver. Rallo subsequently shot and killed Vuono with the .357 revolver.
It is further alleged that, following the robbery, law enforcement located the black Jaguar in Staten Island and maintained surveillance on the vehicle. On March 30, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a black BMW X3, driven by Prosano, pulled up beside the black Jaguar. Rallo exited the rear door of the BMW and entered the driver’s door of a black Jaguar. The two vehicles then left the area and rapidly accelerated. The Jaguar crashed on Tompkins Street. Rallo attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended. The BMW crashed into a tree and parked car at the intersection of Daniel Low Terrace and Corson Avenue. Prosano also attempted to flee and was apprehended.
A search of the BMW revealed 63 rings, eight bracelets, two tie pins, an earring and a cufflink, and a search of Prosano’s residence revealed 23 pairs of earrings and three rings. It is alleged that these items were stolen from Marco Jewelers on March 28.
Liberatore also was arrested on March 30. It is alleged that prior to the Marco Jewelers robbery, on March 18, 2020, Liberatore drove a Honda Civic he had stolen from a car dealer in Yonkers, New York, to Byram Jewelers in Greenwich, Connecticut. He entered the store at approximately 4:45 p.m. and asked a store employee to show him engagement rings. He then pointed a pistol at the employee, stole several rings, smashed a display case with his pistol and stole other items before exiting the store.
The federal criminal complaints charge Rallo, Liberatore and Prosano with Hobbs Act Robbery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. The defendants have been detained in New York on state parole violation charges, and the arrest warrants issued in this case have been lodged as detainers.
The complaints allege that each defendant has an extensive criminal history and the three men met while serving their respective sentences within the New York State Department of Corrections.
“These three defendants are alleged to have committed a brazen, violent robbery that left an innocent victim dead,” said U.S. Attorney Durham. “The FBI, Stamford Police, Greenwich Police and our other law enforcement partners have conducted an extraordinary investigation that resulted in the quick apprehension of these three men before they could wreak any additional havoc. I thank them for their efforts during what has been, due to this pandemic, an especially challenging time for law enforcement. This investigation is ongoing and, in coordination with our state counterparts, additional charges are expected.”
“This investigation and resulting prosecution is a great example of cooperation between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Stamford/Norwalk State’s Attorney’s Office, FBI and the Stamford and Greenwich Police Departments,” said Chief State’s Attorney Colangelo. “We could not have moved as quickly as we did to apprehend the individuals alleged to be responsible for these offenses without the cooperation of all parties working together.”
“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and our praise to the men and women of the Greenwich and Stamford Police Departments, as well as the NYPD and New York Office of the FBI, for their skill and professionalism throughout this investigation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Sundberg. “It is our expectation that justice will be served through the arrest of these three individuals.”
“We want to acknowledge the cooperation and teamwork of all of the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation that made these arrests possible,” said Stamford Police Captain Richard Conklin. “During this crisis within a crisis, which created many logistical obstacles, federal and local agencies worked hand in hand and got this job done.”
“The Greenwich Police Department is pleased that its investigation of a jewelry store robbery in Greenwich, involving one of the three suspects in the Marco Jewelers robbery/homicide, was able to assist Stamford Police and the FBI in bringing to justice the suspects in these heinous crimes,” said Greenwich Police Chief Heavey. “We continue to emphasize collaboration in our law enforcement efforts and are proud of all of the detectives and investigators involved in this case. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family of Mark Vuono, owner of Marco Jewelers.”
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stamford Police Department and Greenwich Police Department, with the assistance of the New York Police Department, Yonkers (N.Y.) Police Department and New Rochelle (N.Y.) Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis and Rahul Kale.