As Philadelphia police searched for leads in the abduction of a Center City jewelry store worker Monday afternoon, friends and acquaintances said the attack has rattled the tight-knit community on Jewelers Row.
"It really shakes everyone up. You feel safe here - it's a little family," said Stacey Mancino, who works at Golden Nugget Jewelers, across the street from National Watch & Diamond Exchange, where the 53-year-old victim works.
Police said the woman had left work Saturday and was walking to her car in a parking garage at 733 Chestnut St. when three men jumped out of a Ford Econoline and demanded the keys to the store and the codes to the safe, which she didn't know.
They pulled a hood over her head and drove her around for an hour, beating her, police said. She was shot seven times with a stun gun, police said, and eventually dumped, her hands and feet bound by zip ties, in a cemetery in Darby Borough. Then, the men returned, police said, and pulled her back into the car. They used her debit card to withdraw money from ATMs, and stole her bag and several personal items, police said.
Finally, they returned her to the cemetery and fled, police said. The woman was able to walk to the road and flag down a car. She was being treated at Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center for a concussion and other injuries.
On Monday, police were searching for surveillance footage and potential witnesses to retrace the trio's steps. No arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, those who worked near the woman said they had been shocked by the violent abduction.
"It's always been a scary business - people think you have diamonds, cash, gold," said Christian DiCamillo, who runs a gem appraisal business on Sansom Street. He said those in the area feel more vulnerable now - "It's something you can't see coming. You have to feel that you could be a target at any time."
Mancino described the victim, a grandmother, as "sweet as sugar, always a smile on her face." She had worked at National Watch for 25 years, Mancino said.
She said she and other workers on the row will be taking extra precautions in the wake of the incident, including walking to their cars in teams.
National Watch was closed Monday afternoon as news trucks lined the street. The store's owner had taped a note to the front door thanking the neighborhood for its concern but declining comment.
"We are grateful that a member of our family was returned to us and pray for her speedy recovery," the note read.