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TRAVELING SALESMAN ROBBER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS – SAN DIEGO, CA

On 7/12/18, 32-year-old Jonathan Braun Ortiz was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbing a traveling jewelry salesman in University Town Center in San Diego two years ago. On 3/16/16, Ortiz and his accomplice, Diego Rojas, assaulted the salesman as he left a grocery store and walked towards his car. The victim suffered permanent eye damage from being kicked during the robbery.

The robbers slashed the tires on the victim’s car and then stole pearl necklaces, bracelets and rings. The stolen merchandise had a retail value of $1.5 million. Ortiz and Rojas were linked to another robbery of a jeweler on 12/7/14. In that incident, the men approached jeweler Mark Himmel at gunpoint outside of his home. They stole $600,000 worth of jewelry. None of the merchandise stolen from the two victims was ever recovered.

After Ortiz and Rojas went to trial, Himmel was found dead of a gunshot wound in his home. The death was ruled a suicide. According to Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde, the robbery left Himmel, who was not insured, despondent and in debt. Rojas and Ortiz were also convicted for their involvement in a robbery crew in Los Angeles that had targeted jewelry salesman in 2015. In January 2016, the two men were sentenced to a year in prison, but by that point, they had served their time and they were released. Three months after their release they committed the robbery in University Town Center. Rojas was ultimately sentenced to 21 years in prison while Ortiz received a 15-year sentence.

DNA LEADS TO INDICTMENTS AFTER 4 YEARS – CANTON, GA

This week a Cherokee County grand jury indicted two men for a gunpoint robbery committed at a jewelry store in Canton, GA nearly five years ago. The suspects, identified as Brian Lamar Robinson and Erin Stephon Arms were each indicted on one count of armed robbery, theft by taking and criminal damage to property in the second degree. Arms also received a count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, while Robinson was indicted on possession of tools during the commission of a crime.

On November 22, 2013, at approximately 11:30 a.m., both men entered the store and ordered employees to the ground. They then proceeded to crack open display cases. They stole $25,000 in jewelry from the store. Investigators recovered DNA from discarded evidence at the scene. Arms is currently in custody while Robinson is still at large. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – BURGLAR ARRESTED THREE YEARS AFTER CRIME

On 7/11/18, North Charleston Police arrested Brandon Romaine Smith for a burglary that occurred three years ago. According to police, Smith broke into a retail jewelry store on July 29, 2015. He gained entry to the store by smashing out the front glass door. At approximately  3:24 a.m. Smith used bolt cutters to smash open a display case. He then stole $40,000 worth of jewelry.

GRAB AND RUN – CHARLOTTE, NC

On 7/10/18, at approximately 1:53 p.m., a subject entered a retail jewelry store and said he was looking for something for his wife and he wanted to “wow” her. He also stated that he wanted to spend about $20,000. He stated he was in the Marines and had just “gotten Back”. He introduced himself as Sam and said he was in the doghouse with his wife.

Once the subject was shown a ring, he grabbed it and fled from the store. He was observed fleeing into a Silver Nissan Altima, driven by a female with another female in the front passenger seat. The same group committed another theft at another jeweler 30 minutes prior to this incident. The male was described as Black and in his early 30’s. He is 5’10” and has a medium build. He was last seen wearing a red polo shirt with black pants and red sneakers. If you have any information regarding this subject, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.

ROBBER STARTS FIRE TO CREATE DISTRACTION – SAN ANTONIO, TX

On 7/9/18, a subject poured lighter fluid on charcoal bags and ignited them inside of a department store. He then fled from the store with a crowd. He was observed reentering the store. He smashed a glass display case and stole several items. The subject was described as a 45-year-old man. He has a shaved head and was last seen wearing khaki pants and a plaid shirt. If you have any information regarding this subject, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.

GRAB AND RUN – MEMPHIS, TN

On 7/6/18, at approximately 11:52 a.m., a male subject entered a retail jewelry store and inquired about diamond solitaire earrings. The subject had a sales associate’s business card and asked to speak with that associate. The subject was in the store the previous day and looked at solitaire earrings. He claimed to have a budget of $2,500. Another associate assisted with the presentation because the associate the subject intended to speak to was off for the day.

The subject asked to see 1 ct. earrings. Once he had those earrings in his possession he asked to compare them to 1.5 ct. round solitaire earrings. As the sales associate held the second pair, the subject grabbed them from her hand and fled from the store. The subject fled into a gold Mercedes 4 door SUV. The subject was described as Black and in his early 30’s. He has a slim build and weighs 160 pounds. He also has short hair and dark skin. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, white pants, and brown shoes. He also wore sunglasses. If you have any information regarding this subject, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.

GRAB AND RUN – TACOMA, WA

On 7/3/18, at approximately 6:30 p.m., a subject approached a kiosk and asked to try on a chain. After trying on a 24” chain, the subject looked at it in the mirror and then fled from the store. The subject was described as a 23-year-old White male. He is 5’10” and weighs 180 pounds. He has a tattoo on his right arm and short hair. If you have any information regarding this subject, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.

GRAB AND RUN – SAN BERNARDINO, CA

On 6/27/18, at approximately 7:30 p.m., a subject inquired about a ring. He visited the store earlier in the day and left after he applied for credit and was denied credit. He returned later in the day and looked at rings. The sales associate placed the ring on her finger. The subject took the ring from her finger and was walking around in the store with it. The associate asked for the ring back, but the subject ignored her and left the store. The subject was described as a Black male in his early 30’s. He is 5’7″ and has an average build. He also has long curly black hair. He was last seen wearing a blue long sleeve shirt and black jogger pants with distinctive zippers. If you have any information regarding this subject, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.

ROBBER SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS – ANTIOCH, CA

On 6/28/18, 22-year-old Trai Jones was sentenced to 30 years in state prison for his involvement in fatal jewelry store robbery. On April 11, 2014, Jones and his accomplice entered a jewelry store and fired shots. After the subjects fired their weapons, the owner of the store shot and killed 20-year-old David Carter.

Jones pleaded guilty to robbery and assault charges. The robbery resulted in a woman being shot in her back while she was in the store with her daughter. The bullet is still lodged in her back.

ROBBER ASSAULTS EMPLOYEE – CARSON, CA

On 6/24/18, at approximately 11:20 a.m., a subject entered a jewelry store and asked to see a low priced ring. After the sales associate opened the case, the subject forced his way through the gate behind the showcase. He then threw the female associate to the floor. She was injured. The subject proceeded to take forty-four items and placed them into his bag. He then fled from the store.

The subject was described as a Black male in his early 20’s. He is 5’7″ and slim. He was last seen wearing a white baseball cap, jeans, and a jacket. If you have any information regarding this subject, please call the Jewelers’ Security Alliance at 212-687-0328.