Tags: jewelry | store | robbery | ring

Jewelry Store Robbery Suspects Believed Connected to Larger Ring

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 06:16 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Four men arrested in connection with a Delaware jewelry store robbery in which a $2 million ruby was stolen are now suspected in other jewel heists in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, The Associated Press reports.

The four men, who weren’t arrested in Delaware, don’t have ties to the state, federal prosecutors said, adding that all are from Pennsylvania.

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“These are essentially professional armed robbers. ... These are hard-core defendants who have been around the block,” U.S. Attorney Charles Oberly III told the AP.

The $2 million ruby, a 4-pound replica of the Liberty Bell made from the largest mined ruby in the world, is unlikely to be recovered.

"I don't think there is an expectation right now at this point, two years after the robbery, that we're going to be able to locate it," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie McCall told the AP.

The four men arrested are Darrell Williams, 43; David Story, 46; Rufus Lawson, 48; and Willie Hawkins Smith, 22, the AP reported. They could face life in prison because of a firearm charge in connection with the robbery, which occurred in November 2011. The News Journal listed a fifth man was indicted, Jackie Howard, who was charged in a Pennsylvania federal court.

The robbery, which was featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” occurred at Stewart Kingston Galleries and resulted in a loss of $4.4 million in jewelry, including the ruby, The News Journal said.

Three people in masks came in the store, waved a gun, and then tied up employees and used hammers to smash through glass to take the jewels.

The AP said information wasn’t available from authorities as to how the ring was discovered, but 2012 arrests of some of those indicted were important to the investigation. Prosecutors told the news agency that the ring may be responsible for as many as eight other robberies, netting $3.5 million in jewels.

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