By Ralph Iannotti

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MONROEVILLE (KDKA) — It was back in April of last year when Monroeville Police were called to the Udipi Cafe on the William Penn Highway.

The first clues in the investigation were provided by a nearby security camera.

A jewelry salesman in town from New York went into the restaurant to grab something to eat. While he was inside, four people are seen running toward the van, and after assaulting a second salesman who was still inside the vehicle, they fled with several suitcases which contained an estimated $1.2 million worth of diamonds and other jewelry.

Watch the surveillance footage —


The next day, a restaurant employee described how quickly the theft occurred.

“[The robbers] took everything, all the luggage and everything,” Binto Patel told KDKA-TV at the time. “This happened within ten minutes, 5 to 10 minutes. Monroeville is a peaceful area, and how come this happened in our parking lot, I really don’t understand.”

Five Ohio residents were indicted in the case on Friday, they ranged in age from 35 to 48. They all face conspiracy charges, and if convicted, all five could face up to 20 years in prison.

The FBI has not said if any of the diamonds and other jewelry has been recovered or how the case was cracked.

Both the salesman and his partner suffered minor injuries in the confrontation with the robbers.

One of them was hurt when he tried to jump on the getaway car and was thrown off the vehicle as it pulled out of the parking lot.

Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole was happy to hear about the indictments in the case. He said Monroeville Police got the FBI involved in the investigation almost immediately, which is often the case, in a large scale investigations, like this major jewelry robbery.