Village man headed jewelry-theft ring: Feds

Damir Pejcinovic, of W. Fourth St. in the Village, was arrested for allegedly masterminding an international jewel-theft ring.

BY RICO BURNEY |West Village resident has been charged by federal prosecutors for leading an international bank and jewelry heist operation for more than 10 years.

Damir “Damian” Pejcinovic and three accomplices from Staten Island and Queens were arraigned on 16 counts of attempted burglary between 2006 and 2017 and stole more than $10 million in jewelry during that time.

The New York Post reported that Pejcinovic is being held in Brooklyn after pleading “preposterous” to the charges, instead of guilty or not guilty. Others in his “enterprise” were released on bail.

Pejcinovic was arrested by F.B.I. agents at his West Village home this past October.

Five of the 16 attempted robberies Pejcinovic and his partners are accused of conducting targeted Manhattan jewelry stores. The most recent was on New Year’s Eve 2016. The Post reported that KGK Jewelers on W 36th St. was robbed around midnight because the criminals believed that the police would be slow to respond due to the nearby ball-drop in Times Square. Three million dollars’ worth of jewelry was stolen from that store alone.

Damir Pejcinovic’s wife runs the Damian West salon out of their building on W. Fourth St.

Pejcinovic’s townhouse at 237 W. Fourth St. between Charles and W. 10th Sts. was listed at $10 million prior to his October arrest but has since been taken off the market. The Post reported that neighbors previously viewed him as someone from the Bronx “who made it and now lives in the Village,” and speculated his money came from real estate.

Pejcinovic’s wife also runs the upscale Damian West salon out of the building. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew K. Chan reportedly said in court that his wife was in the process of separating from Pejcinovic after he pled guilty to “a violent felony arrest for a domestic incident.”

One Response to Village man headed jewelry-theft ring: Feds

  1. Mary van Valkenburg

    My family and I were rent-stabilized tenants at 237 West 4th when Damian’s brother bought the building for $2mil and gave it to Spresa. The next several years were a nightmare of construction dust, heatless winters, rats, and robberies. Damian’s handyman came into my apartment and threatened to kill me. When Damian punched my upstairs neighbor, the police didn’t want to decide who was guilty, so my senior citizen neighbor had to spend a weekend in the tombs. Then when my neighbor was away on vacation, Damian completely emptied his apartment and trashed all his belongings. After that he was too afraid to live there any more. Damian didn’t go to jail and appeared the victor. Spresa was his eager accomplice in the harrassment. We fought eviction in court but eventually they got my family out using the bogus claim of owner occupancy, and afterwards rented out our apartment at a 5 times higher rent. We tenants documented hundreds of abuses but never succeeded in getting a harrassment ruling from DHCR despite having Tom Duane in our corner. It was a travesty, a misery, and a horrific miscarriage of justice, and it seemed that evil had triumphed. I thought they were drug lords. I never once suspected jewelry thievery. I lived in the Village for 37 years but have since moved far away. Whenever I’m in the Village now, I feel bitter.

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