Smash-and-Grab Theft Ring under Indictment

Eight members of a Newark-based “smash-and-grab” jewelry store robbery ring that targeted malls from Florida to North Jersey were named in a 10-count indictment, according to media reports.

The indictment alleges that the eight robbed six stores, taking jewelry valued at more than $1.27 million, the Asbury Park Press reports. They’re accused of a failed seventh robbery. They’re also accused of selling the stolen jewelry in New Jersey. The robberies happened between July 2003 and September 2005.

The newspaper reports that the indictment, unsealed Wednesday, alleges that William Valentin, 33; Regaldo Hernandez, 26; Angel Concepcion, 24; Valentin Cedeno, 25; Hector Perez, 25; Quadir Snell, 27; Tanya Rivera, 29; and Hiram Ortiz, 43, joined a conspiracy to rob the following stores: Ultra Diamond Outlet in Jackson, N.J., Bailey, Banks & Biddle at the Garden State Mall in Paramus; Corbo Jewelers at the Rockaway Town Square Mall in Rockaway, N.J.; J.E. Caldwell Co. at the King of Prussia Court Mall in Upper Merion Township, Pa.; Sherman & Sons Jewelers at the Bridgewater Commons Mall in Bridgewater, N.J.; Mayors Jewelers at the Seminole Towne Center Mall in Sanford, Fla.; and Mayors Jewelers at the Mall of Georgia in Buford, Ga.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Rivera, the newspaper reports. The remaining defendants are being held on unrelated convictions or charges.

Hernandez has been detained without bail since his arrest on June 19, 2006, by investigators with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office and special agents with the FBI, the newspaper reports. A federal criminal complaint charging Hernandez was signed on Aug. 14, 2006.

An original indictment, which is superseded by the one unsealed Wednesday, charged only Hernandez with offenses related to the smash-and-grab robberies, the newspaper reports.

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