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New York Man Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to Robbery and Murder of Stamford Jeweler

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ROBERT RALLO, 58, of New York, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to federal offenses in connection with the robbery of Marco Jewelers in Stamford in March 2020.  During the robbery, the owner of Marco Jewelers was shot and killed.

According to court documents and statements made in court, 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.

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, Rallo and an associate were driven in a black Jaguar to Marco Jewelers.  Rallo and his associate then entered the store.  Rallo, armed with a handgun, engaged in a physical altercation with Vuono, while Rallo’s associate stole items from the display cases.  Vuono, who also possessed a firearm, and Rallo struggled next to a large open safe.  During the more than three-minute 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.

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 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.  The operator of the BMW 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 the BMW operator’s residence revealed 23 pairs of earrings and three rings.  These items were stolen from Marco Jewelers on March 28. 

Rallo pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery), an offense that carries a maximum term imprisonment of 20 years; interstate transportation of stolen property, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life

Judge Dooley scheduled sentencing for June 28.  Under the terms of a binding plea agreement, if accepted by the court, the parties have agreed that a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison is an appropriate sentence in this case.

Rallo has been detained since his arrest.

Rallo’s two associates have been charged with related offenses and are detained while awaiting trial.  U.S. Attorney Boyle stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation has been 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.

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