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Westport Police Focus on Tracking Murderer

WESTPORT, Conn. – It's been nearly a week since Westport resident Yekutiel Zeevi was shot to death at his jewelry manufacturing business during a late-night robbery, and Westport police are still trying to track down the man responsible.

"We're doing everything we can to bring this person to justice," Capt. Sam Arciola said Tuesday. "This investigation is the department's No. 1 priority, and it will be until we bring the suspect in."

Zeevi, 65, and an associate, Ronen Konfino, 48, were shot Thursday night at Y.Z. Jewelry Manufacturing by a man who expressed interest in buying or selling diamonds. Konfino, a New York resident, survived but was critically injured. He has been in stable condition since Friday.

Besides releasing an enhanced sketch of the suspect, police Tuesday had no new details to share on the investigation. However, on Monday, Westport Now — an online publication owned by Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff — reported that six diamonds valued at about $300,000 total were stolen during the robbery. The information came from an unnamed source "familiar with the investigation."

Arciola could not confirm or deny that information but said no one at the department gave that information to Westport Now. The department will not disclose specific details about what was taken during the robbery, he said.

When reached at his office Tuesday, Joseloff confirmed that the information was not received from the police. The information did not come from him, either, he said.

According to the chief medical examiner's office, Zeevi died of multiple gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a homicide.

Arciola could not comment as to whether detectives believed the suspect was a local resident or whether he was believed to still be in the area. In addition to state police, Arciola said area police departments have been notified of the suspect and are assisting with the investigation.

"We have a tremendous amount of resources committed to this investigation," Arciola said.

Westport resident Maryanne Quinn, who said she has been following the investigation closely, praised the police for giving out as much information as they could, including a description and sketch of the suspect — which she said she has memorized.

Although Quinn said she's confident the suspect will be caught, the idea that he's still "out and about" worries her.

"What concerns me is the mental stability of this person," Quinn said. "Sure, his picture is all over the news, and one might argue he won't risk being seen in public. But who's to say he won't try it again?"

Over at the Phillips 66 gas station up the road from the shooting, co-owners Bob Meyers and Jay Gazerro — who knew Zeevi as a customer — said this crime has made them and their employees question their safety.

Putting employees even more on edge is the fact that the station was one of three Post Road East businesses targeted by smash-and-grab burglars one night in July.

“My help is actually very nervous,” Meyers said of one worker, who doesn’t like to be at the store alone — even though the station closes by 9 p.m. “He’s scared. It’s (crime) not just in cities anymore.”

Greg Canuel contributed reporting to this story.

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