A Michigan Grand Jury indicted six people Thursday for alleged involvement in the ‘smash and grab’ robbery at Lux Bond & Green in West Hartford on Oct. 8, 2014.
By Ronni Newton
A total of 17 people from the Detroit area were indicted by a Michigan Grand Jury Thursday for charges related to approximately 40 “smash and grab” robberies that took place throughout the United States, and those charged include six individuals suspected of involvement in the robbery of Lux Bond & Green at 46 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford on Oct. 8, 2014.
According to the FBI, which was involved in the investigation along with state and local law enforcement agencies, Ernie Thomas Evans, 25, of Detroit; Darrick Adams, 29, of Detroit; Brandon Mayes, 20, of Detroit; Bria Jackson, 22, of Shelby Township, MI; Shaquita Wyatt, 24, of Detroit; Bria Stanford, 21, of Belleville, MI, were charged with conspiracy to interfere with (interstate) commerce by robbery of Rolex watches and other jewelry from the Lux Bond store.
The FBI reported that crews of people, including the six involved in the West Hartford incident, “traveled across the country to jewelry stores that sell Rolex watches and other jewelry. Several members of the crew entered the jewelry stores while they were open for business, smashed the Rolex display cases with sledgehammers and fled the store with Rolex watches, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. The robbers escaped into waiting, stolen vehicles and returned to Michigan with the stolen watches.”
The Lux Bond & Green “smash and grab” robbery took place shortly after noon on a Wednesday afternoon. The thieves entered the store through the front door, smashed jewelry cases with a sledgehammer, and stole Rolex watches and other merchandise. The suspects fled the scene in an older model grayish-blue Dodge Caravan with Massachusetts plates, that had reportedly been stolen from a Home Depot parking lot in Chicopee, MA, and during the getaway collided with three vehicles, including at least one vehicle parked on LaSalle Road. The Caravan was abandoned a few blocks away on Ellsworth Road, just west of Woodrow Street. Police said at the time that according to witnesses the suspects are believed to have gotten into two other vehicles that had been parked there.
In total, 17 defendents have been charged under three separate federal indictments with with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery of stores located in Connecticut as well as in New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Nebraska.
“These crimes, committed during business hours, are serious because of the danger and trauma they create for the victim customers and sales clerks,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said in an FBI news release. “These defendants traveled around the country to commit their crimes in hopes of dividing and conquering witnesses and investigators, but with the collaboration of law enforcement agencies across the country, those schemes have been thwarted.”
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