Two men were arrested and charged with robbing a Sarasota, Fla., jewelry store of $1 million worth of diamonds and jewelry—a robbery in which they left behind a fake bomb.
The suspects were disguised a repairmen and wearing dust masks when they stormed into the Diamond Vault jewelry store on April 18. When they left, they put a fake bomb in the back of the store, to slow down authorities.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office reportedly said investigators found fingerprints on a ladder and a piece of cardboard packaging, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.
The fingerprints on the cardboard packaging of the dust masks and worker gloves led detectives to convicted felon Dieujuste Simon and his home in Miami, where they located a safe containing 60 diamonds, 200 rings, and $23,000 in cash, police reportedly said. It was about three-quarters of the loot.
Simon, 33, and an old prison buddy, 31-year-old Marte Ragan of Bradenton, were each charged with one count of armed robbery in connection with the heist. They were both arrested in late April and now in jail in Sarasota and Bradenton, are also suspects in other armed robberies, authorities reportedly said.
Detectives reportedly said kidnapping charges could follow for the two suspects, who are accused of forcing one jeweler at gunpoint to open a vault. Another employee was elbowed in the head and injured badly enough to require hospitalization, the store’s owner reportedly said.
There could be other charges related to the fake bomb, which prompted the Sheriff’s Office to evacuate several businesses in The Landings shopping center, the newspaper reports.
Detectives reportedly said the surveillance videotape also implicates both men.