WESTPORT, Conn. The man wanted in the Dec. 8 murder of 65-year-old Westport resident Yekutiel Zeevi was arrested Monday in Spain on federal murder, robbery and firearms charges, a statement from U.S. Attorney David B. Fein announced Tuesday morning.
The suspect, identified as Andrew Robert Levene, also known as Robert Thomas, 41, is suspected of shooting and killing Zeevi during a robbery at Zeevi's Post Road East business, Y.Z. Jewelry Manufacturing.
We are proud of the efforts of law enforcement officials on the local, state, federal and international level who all contributed to the investigation and apprehension of this suspect, Westport Police Chief Call said in the statement. We hope that it brings some peace of mind to the victims families.
According to the statement from Fein, here's what happened: Court documents allege that Levene contacted Zeevi in December and asked him to locate several 2- and 3-carat diamonds valued at $45,000 to $75,000. On the evening of Dec. 7, Zeevi and his associate, Ronen Konfino, met Levene at Zeevi's business at 431 Post Road E. Levene examined the diamonds but told the owner he would have to "sleep on it."
On the morning of Dec. 8, Zeevi allegedly called Konfino, saying he had scheduled a meeting with Levene for that evening and asking Konfino to bring the diamonds Levene viewed the night before as well as additional diamonds. When Konfino arrived that night, Zeevi and Levene were already there.
Zeevi then showed Levene six diamonds with a total value of $300,000, the documents say. After looking at the diamonds and talking for several minutes, Levene allegedly took out a gun and shot Zeevi and Konfino. Levene then took the diamonds and left.
After Levene left the store, Konfino called 911. Zeevi was transported to Norwalk Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Konfino was also transported to Norwalk Hospital for treatment.
On Dec. 11, Levene allegedly flew from Philadelphia to Amsterdam. He was arrested Monday by Spanish National Police.
"We hope the end of one of the most intensive manhunts in the town's history will help ease the nightmare of this crime for the family and all Westporters who have been outraged by its wanton cruelty," First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said in a statement.
"Fortunately, crimes such as this are a rarity in Westport. But we all draw comfort from the fact that our police, backed by state and federal resources, were able to track the alleged killer down within weeks of the crime.
"On behalf of the town of Westport, I once again express our sincere condolences to the Zeevi family and hope they can gain some comfort from the hard work of all those involved which led to today's announcement."
This case is being investigated by the Westport Police Department, Connecticut State Police Detectives of the Western District Major Crime Squad, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service. The investigation has been assisted by the State's Attorney's Office for the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk, the Philadelphia Police Department's Homicide Unit, the Pennsylvania State Police, the New York Police Department, Interpol Spain and Interpol, United States National Central Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.