Surveillance Images Link Jewelry Store Heists

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WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich (April 23, 2014) – Authorities on both sides of the state have compared surveillance images from two jewelry store heists on Tuesday, one of which involved a shooting in Plainfield Township, saying Wednesday afternoon the two heists are related.

WJBK in Detroit reports the Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry on Orchard Lake Road was robbed by three suspects around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.  Authorities tell FOX2 two of the suspects were armed with handguns, the third armed with a hammer.  Surveillance images released today also show two the suspects carrying duffel bags as well.

Authorities say the suspects ordered employees to the ground at Tapper’s, physically forcing some to the floor.  FOX2 reports one of the suspects pointed a gun at one employee, demanding a merchandise case be opened.  Witnesses reported the suspects got away with Rolex watches.

The following suspect descriptions were released by the West Bloomfield Township Police Department:

  • Suspect 1: African-American male, beard, heavy build, dark clothing, 220-230 lbs, 5’10” – 6’2″
  • Suspect 2: African-American male, medium build, dark clothing, black and red gloves, bandana covering face
  • Suspect 3: African-American male, medium build, dark clothing, black and white gloves, bandana covering face

Authorities believe the suspects left the scene in a newer model Chrysler Town and Country, dark in color.

Investigators say the trio was targeting luxury watches, the same merchandise the group was after when Medawar Jewelry was robbed in Kent County on Tuesday.  The robbery at Medawar happened around 12:40 p.m., forcing nearby Northview Schools into lockdown as authorities searched nearby neighborhoods for the suspects.

On Wednesday, investigators tell FOX17 the FBI is now involved with the investigation, and blood found at the scene of the Medawar heist may help detectives identify at least one or all of the suspects involved.

Investigators have determined the clothing, bags and red and blue gloves seen in the images are identical in both robberies.

Deputies in Kent County say one of the four suspects at the Medawar heist suffered a gunshot wound to the torso after the owner of the store and his son opened fire on the suspects.  The owner and son at Medawar say they took firearm classes and learned to protect themselves after an armed robbery in 2010.

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