Five people were arrested after a brazen overnight jewelry store robbery that involved kidnapping and hours of being tied up while the suspects loaded up $5 million in jewels.
According to police, first two people were bound and gagged with duct tape during home invasion on Gravel Street in Meriden during the early morning hours of April 12.
Investigators said the victims were blindfolded and forced into a vehicle. They were driven to Lenox Jewelers on Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield where they worked.
There, police said, the two men were forced to enter security codes to first get into the building and then into the safe where the robbers proceeded to steal $5 million worth of watches, diamonds and gold.
Investigators said the suspects, who were wearing masks and gloves and two had handguns, were in and out of the store in about five minutes.
There was no video from inside the store, but cameras did capture images from outside.
"They came into Connecticut, did surveillance, committed a crime and then go back to Pennsylvania thinking that jurisdictional boundaries are going to prevent them from being prosecuted," said Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara.
Police said they don't know why they selected Lenox in Fairfield, but the store is known for a large selection of Rolex watches.
None of the victims were harmed during the incident.
Investigators said after the store managers locked up the store and drove home to Meriden, the suspects followed them home.
Police made five arrested five men in the case and were charged with federal kidnapping, robbery and firearms crimes. They ar:
Timothy Forbes, 31, of Allentown, PA
William Davis, 25, of Allentown, PA
Jeffrey Houston, 26, of Allentown, PA
Christopher Gay, 27, of Bronx, NY
Kasam Hennix, 39, of Easton, PA
"Fortunately, these individuals were arrested before committing similar crimes that place the lives of innocent persons at risk," said U.S. Marshal Faughnan in a release.
Houston and Gay appeared in federal court in Bridgeport Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel.
The men got away with close to $5 million in jewelry, which police said they are still trying to locate.
"We recovered some money, $100,000," MacNamara said. "I don't know if that is connected to the robbery and we did recover some jewelry."
Fairfield detectives are still in Pennsylvania with federal authorities trying to track down all of the stolen jewelry.
Both men entered not-guilty pleas Thursday.
"It came out of left field for him," said one of the suspect's attorneys. "He was sitting in Allentown PA and was arrested yesterday not sure why he was arrested."
Hennix and Davis appeared in a federal court down in Pennsylvania on Thursday.
"Today's arrests are yet another example of how dedicated and talented investigators from multiple agencies worked together to quickly identify and apprehend those responsible for violent crimes," stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Mertz. "This investigation will continue until there is justice for the victims."
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