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Multi-State Jewelry Heists: 16 Charged for $1M+ Robberies Targeting Asian-Owned Stores September 02, 2023 (0 comments)


Washington, D.C.--Federal authorities have charged 16 individuals linked to a crime syndicate involved in armed carjackings, thefts, and, specifically, jewelry store robberies across Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

[Image via NBC Washington]

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for D.C. and other federal agencies, this group hatched their plans in D.C., singling out jewelry stores owned by Asian Americans. 

“There was a belief from the conspirators, we allege, that these type of jewelry stores would have jewelry and particularly gold of a certain kind that would be easier to sell on the fence market,” U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves said, as per the report in NBC Washington.

The heists led to the theft of jewelry valued at over an estimated $1 million, leaving the victims distressed. “The defendants targeted small businesses along the East Coast, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry from hardworking families,” David Sundberg of the FBI’s Washington Field Office added in the report.

The report noted that the targeted stores spanned four states, including Yasini Jewelers, Virginia (Jan. 7, 2022); Virani Jewelers, New Jersey (June 10, 2022); Sonia Jewelers & Boutique, Virginia (Sept 20, 2022); Paradise Jewelry Store, New Jersey (Oct. 25, 2022); Baral Jewelers & Gifts, Pennsylvania (Nov. 10, 2022); Sara Emporium Jewelry & Boutique, Virginia (Nov. 27, 2022); Kishek Jewelers, Florida (Dec. 6, 2022); Chintamanis Inc., New Jersey (Dec. 22, 2022); and Princess Diamonds, Virginia (Jan. 27, 2023).

Charges against the accused, who hail from D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and one from California, encompass armed carjackings, money laundering, firearms offenses, and armed robberies. 

Graves disclosed in the report that the initial arrests took place after two suspects faced gun charges by D.C. police. Eight of these individuals had already been detained on separate charges, with the remaining eight apprehended on Wednesday.

Learn more in the entire NBC Washington report.

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