1 killed, 3 on the run in Conroe jewelry store robbery

http://www.click2houston.com/news/church-school-on-lockdown-after-reports-of-jewelry-store-robbery-in-conroe

By Keith Garvin – Anchor/Reporter , Phil Archer – Reporter
Posted: 2:48 PM, October 03, 2016
Updated: 10:26 PM, October 03, 2016

CONROE – Conroe police are investigating an attempted jewelry store robbery that resulted in a shootout between suspects and store employees that left one of the suspects dead.

According to reports, four armed men entered Jeff’s Jewelry at 4890 W. Davis Street around 12:40 p.m. demanding jewelry, cash, and a purse from an elderly customer.

Conroe P.D. Lt. Dorcy McGinnis said as the robbers scattered through the store, an employee pulled a pistol.

Customers were also caught in the crossfire.

“There were some customers because they were demanding the purse from an elderly female,” McGinnis said. “Trying to take her purse from her.”
One of the suspects fired at him. Three employees returned fire, including owner Jeff Turner, who police say was armed with an assault rifle. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three other suspects ran from the store and drove off in a rented, Chyslyer 300. They abandoned it about a mile from the store and fled on foot. They remain at large.

Reports of the robbery led to the lockdown of a nearby Conroe school and a church, according to reports.

Peet Middle School was on lockdown because of police activity.

A witness told KPRC2 that a First United Methodist Church was also on lockdown.

Shannon Harris runs a boutique next door to the jewelry store. She said it’s the second time gunmen have attempted to rob the store.

“Two years ago this happened, so they were prepared,” Harrris said. “We feel pretty protected, but we’re not really protected anymore. It’s kind of sad. Losing that small-town feel.”

In November 2014, employees arrived to find four men trying to smash their way through the front door with sledge hammers.

Those suspects left the scene after one of the employees brandished a shotgun.

Police have not released the identity of the man who was killed. They said they are following leads on the other three men who remain on the loose.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2


Suspects caught following Wolfchase jewelry heist

http://archive.commercialappeal.com/news/crime/Suspect-caught-in-attempted-Wolfchase-jewelry-heist-395568991.html

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.

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