Two men were found guilty Monday by a jury in Bridgeport of federal offenses in connection with the March 2020 robbery of Marco Jewelers in Stamford, Connecticut. During the robbery, the owner of Marco Jewelers was shot and killed.
According to the evidence presented during the trial, on March 28, 2020, at approximately 2:48 pm, 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 store owner, 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, Paul Prosano, also known as “Tony Pro,” 62, of Brooklyn drove Robert Rallo and Thomas Liberatore, 65, of White Plains, New York in a black Jaguar to Marco Jewelers. Rallo and Liberatore then entered the store.
Rallo, armed with a handgun, engaged in a physical altercation with Vuono, while Liberatore 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 pm, a black BMW X3, driven by Prosano, 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. Prosano 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 Prosano’s residence revealed 23 pairs of earrings and three rings. These items were stolen from Marco Jewelers on March 28.
Liberatore was also arrested on March 30.
The jury found Liberatore and Prosano guilty of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery), an offense that carries a maximum term imprisonment of 20 years, and with interstate transportation of stolen property, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Liberatore was also found guilty of aiding and abetting the use of a firearm to cause a death during a robbery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of life. Sentencing dates are not scheduled.
Mr. Liberatore had allegedly robbed Byram Jewelers at gunpoint 10 days prior to the incident at Marco Jewelers after asking to look at engagement rings.
The three defendants have been detained since their arrests.
On April 5, 2022, Rallo, 59, of New York, pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, and one count of using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery. He awaits sentencing.
The verdict was announced Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. The trial before U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley began on December 8 and the jury returned the guilty verdicts Monday afternoon.
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.