Suspects caught following Wolfchase jewelry heist

By Jody Callahan of The Commercial Appeal

For the second time in less than three years, a robber smashed into a case full of Rolex watches Sunday at Reeds Jewelers in the Wolfchase Galleria.

And as with the first time, the bumbling suspects were caught.

This latest incident happened a little after 1 p.m. Sunday, when a man — armed with a small sledgehammer — apparently smashed the case containing the Rolexes. Although police haven’t confirmed that detail, a smashed case was visible inside the store Sunday afternoon, a sledgehammer nearby on the floor.

The man grabbed several watches, dropped the hammer and ran. Reeds is at least 150 feet from the closest exit; police weren’t saying yet which way the robber ran.

But he managed to get out of the mall and into a car with two other suspects, both women.

They fled from the mall, but police had a description of the getaway vehicle — a red-and-white Dodge Challenger. Officers saturated the area as the suspects fled east on Interstate 40, then south on Tennessee 385, police said. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol joined the search, and just north of Macon and 385, police stopped the car and took all three suspects into custody.

No shots were fired, and no one was injured in the incident.

This follows another heist at that same jewelry store on Jan. 18, 2014. That robbery appeared more professional, at least at the outset. Six men with sledgehammers burst into the store and stole more than $500,000 worth of watches.

The suspects were later caught in Texas, largely because police traced a phone one of them dropped during the holdup.

Shortly after Sunday’s heist, mall security attempted to run off reporters and patrons who were lingering around the store, which had its security gates pulled down. Still, passersby could see the case containing the watches had spider-webbed glass, and a sledgehammer was lying on the floor next to the case.

Employees at several nearby stores acknowledged seeing or hearing the ruckus, but would not comment on the record. A man identifying himself as the district manager for Reeds also would not comment.


Police: Robbery of jewelry store at local mall well-planned

HAZELWOOD, Mo. ( – The Hazelwood Police Department said they believe a Monday night robbery of a jewelry store at the St. Louis Outlet Mall was well-planned.

Surveillance video captured a trio of robbers running though the mall carrying backpacks and duffel bags. Two of the three men were wearing masks when they walked into Prime Jewelers around 8:30 p.m. and used crowbars to smash jewelry cases, police said.

An employee tried to stop the robbery, but one of the robbers sprayed the employee with mace. Two others, including a security guard whose two-way radio was stolen so he could not call for help, were also maced by the suspect, according to police.

According to investigators, one of the suspects broke the glass of the display cases while the other two followed behind grabbing the jewelry. Police say the whole incident lasted less than 90 seconds. Following the robbery, the suspects left in a black pick-up truck.

“They knew they had to go in the closest entrance and exit quickly, they had a vehicle outside ready to pick them up. They definitely knew what they were doing,” said Detective William Russ of the Hazelwood Police Department.

The dollar value of what was taken has not been determined, but the store owner told News 4 the suspects smashed a lot of cases and got away with a lot.

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