Jewelry store robbers caught after being chased by witnesses

Two men charged in a jewelry store robbery in Austin, Texas, were captured after reportedly being chased for several blocks by business managers, owners, and customers.

A man snatched about $50,000 worth of diamond earrings from Benold’s Jewelry in the Northwood Plaza shopping center in North Austin, KVUE television news reports. First store managers and customers gave chase. John Tran, who was a couple of doors down at the San Francisco Bakery and Café saw what was happening from his front window and ran after the alleged thief.

“I figured out what had gone on and at that point I decided to grab my keys,” Tran told the television news station. “The guys down at Benold’s are part of our family, we feel, everyone in the shopping center, it’s one of those things where it could happen to us too.”

Police reportedly said that the first person to be captured was Mark Franklin. While being questioned his cell phone rang. It was his friend calling, asking him for a ride. The call was traced to a nearby restaurant where they found Stayus Jones, whose pockets were filled with the stolen jewelry, police reportedly said.

Jones and Franklin are charged with theft, police reportedly said. Police are reportedly investigating whether the suspects may be connected with other unsolved jewelry store hold-ups and robberies in Austin.

Police reportedly determined that Franklin had several outstanding arrest warrants.