A Halloween robbery of a jewelry story allegedly committed by four men is not their first, Salt Lake City Police suspect.
According to an unsealed document from Thursday, the men are believed to have committed multiple robberies in California.
The Utah robbery took place at Stroud Jewelers, 905 E. 2100 South, on Oct. 31 when two men acted interested in buying some jewelry.
Soon after expressing interest, one of the men left and went to the parking lot of the business. He then returned with a third man and a confrontation with the store owner ensued.
The court document states that one of the men "forcefully grabbed" the store owner and pushed him against the wall with the demands that jewelry cases be opened. When the store owner didn't comply, the man threatening him pulled out a handgun from his waistband and forced the store owner to the ground.
All three men then stole jewelry from the display cases, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court.
At one point, the men allowed a fourth man to enter the store who helped with stealing additional items. The men stole large quantities of cash and diamonds from a safe in addition to the jewelry from the display cases. The men - all estimated to be in their 20s and 30s - then fled in a Dodge Charger, the legal document stated.
The suspects are described as:
- The initial and primary suspect had a thicker or larger stature, was wearing an all-blue Nike athletic jumpsuit,
- The second male was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt that was either partially or fully gray,
- The third man was heavily-tattooed. No details have been provided of the fourth man allowed to enter the store and help steal items.
The Stroud Jeweler owner estimates $70,000 worth of merchandise was stolen. (Click here or below to read the unsealed search warrant)
The Crime Lab personnel responded to the scene and processed it for fingerprint and DNA evidence. Because of a backlog, the items have not yet been analyzed by the Crime Lab.
When SLCPD was on the scene, investigators learned just before the Stroud robbery occurred that SLCPD officers were called to King’s Custom Jewelry, 701 E. 2100 South, two blocks from Stroud.
The store owners of King’s Custom Jewelry told police a black male adult wearing an all-blue Nike jumpsuit entered the store on Oct. 19 and asked about custom jewelry. The owners thought he was suspicious because he parked a Dodge Charge with no plates in the rear parking of an adjacent business. The store owners told police they saw other male black adults in the vehicle.
The same man returned on Oct. 31, at approximately 12 noon, wearing the same jumpsuit, with another man. The men again parked in the rear parking area of a different business. The staff pretended like there were more employees in their back office, and the men left.
A week after releasing photos from the surveillance camera at King's, the New York City-based group Jewelers Security Alliance that specializes in jewelry-related crimes — contacted SLCPD with photos of suspects and information of several California robberies. The suspects appeared to be the same in the as those wanted in the Stroud Jewelers robbery.
A task force has been put together to investigate the robberies. The public is encouraged to contact the police with any information about the Stroud Jewelers robbery at 801-799-3000.