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Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Suspect held in Spain in killing of Connecticut jeweler


15:01 |

 

A man wanted in connection with the killing and robbery of a Connecticut jeweler has been arrested in Spain, U.S. authorities said Tuesday. Andrew Robert Levene, also known as Robert Thomas, was arrested Monday, said U.S. Attorney David Fein and local and state law enforcement. The 41-year-old Levene was charged with federal murder, robbery and firearm offenses in the Dec. 8 shooting of Yekutiel Zeevi, the owner of YZ Manufacturers LLC in Westport. Levene contacted Zeevi in early December, asking him for several diamonds that were to two to three karats and valued between $45,000 and $75,000, authorities said. The evening before the shooting, Zeevi met Levene, who examined the diamonds and was noncommittal about buying them, authorities said. Levene met with Zeevi again on Dec. 8 on the ruse that he would buy several large diamonds he had arranged to purchase that month, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Connecticut. Instead, Levene shot and killed Zeevi, authorities said. Levene, who had military training in the use of weapons, stole about $300,000 in diamonds, authorities said. Ronen Konfino, an executive at a New York diamond business, also was shot but survived and helped police with the investigation. It wasn't immediately known if Levene had a lawyer. Levene traveled to Amsterdam from Philadelphia on Dec. 11 after missing a flight to Madrid, law enforcement officials said. Police said in mid-December that Levene had been seen in Philadelphia, possibly casing stores. The Connecticut Post reports that Zeevi was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and served as a commando in the Israeli navy.


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