Four Philadelphia men have been accused of stealing the world's largest mined ruby, which is valued at $2 million and carved in the shape of the Liberty Bell. Federal prosecutors claim the men were part of a theft ring that allegedly committed heists in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
According to authorities, the four-pound ruby was stolen in 2011 in a well-planned robbery in which a total of $4.4 million worth of jewelry was taken from a single store. In connection with that incident, the defendants are facing charges of robbery, conspiracy and using a gun in the commission of a violent crime. The maximum possible sentence for the gun charge alone is life in prison.
If convicted on either of the conspiracy or robbery charges, the men could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Three of the defendants are in their 40s, and one man is 22 years old.
Incidentally, authorities have been unable to locate the Liberty Bell Ruby, and a federal prosecutor expressed doubt that the gem would be found now that more than two years have passed since the alleged robbery.
Authorities wouldn't say exactly how the defendants came to be arrested in the Delaware case, but a prosecutor did indicate that three arrests in 2012 "started the ball rolling."
In many defense cases involving weapons charges, one of the foundational aspects of the defense theory is divesting the accused from the actual weapon. In other words, an aggressive criminal defense may be able to show that the defendant was not in possession of the gun. If you want to know more about how defense theories are established in robbery cases, then our criminal defense website may be of interest.
Source: Star Advertiser, "4 indicted in $4 million jewelry store robbery," Randall Chase, Feb. 21, 2014