Six individuals have been arrested and charged in a case that spans multiple states, including Pennsylvania. Authorities believe that the six individuals may have worked together to conduct robberies targeting Jared Galleria of Jewelry stores. The federal crime probe led to the recent signing of a complaint by a federal judge that accuses the six of interference of commerce by threats or violence.
Investigators on the case spanned several state and federal authorities. Because the crimes took place in multiple jurisdictions, it was determined that charges would be filed in federal court in order to simplify the prosecution process. The nature of the crimes is a type of "smash and grab" robbery whereby individuals break into display cases within the store and grab as much merchandise as possible before making a quick exit.
Police claim that five men conducted just such an operation at a Jared location on a recent Wednesday afternoon, while the store was open for business, and employees and customers were present. When the men left the store, a witness followed them to a nearby hotel parking lot, where they allegedly planned to switch into two separate vehicles. The minivan that was driven to and from the jewelry store was reportedly stolen. Police were able to locate and arrest all five men, as well as a woman who was waiting at the hotel in one of the other vehicles. Similar robberies have been conducted in multiple other states, and additional charges will likely be filed in those cases, as well.
As these six individuals move forward in their criminal cases, their legal strategy will likely depend on the nature of evidence held by the prosecution. Each one will have the chance to determine his or her own approach to the federal crime charges, and some may work to negotiate a plea agreement in return for providing information on the leader of the crime ring and the extent of any organized criminal behavior. The robbery that took place in Pennsylvania may be included in the charges filed against some, if not all of those recently arrested.
Source: wsbt.com, "Jared robbery suspects charged federally", Kelli Stopczynski, April 17, 2015