Crime

FBI Nabs Suspect Wanted in 2014-2015 Smash-and-Grab Spree

CrimeApr 24, 2019

FBI Nabs Suspect Wanted in 2014-2015 Smash-and-Grab Spree

Arthur Berry Jr. allegedly led a group that conducted jewelry store smash-and-grabs across six states.

Detroit—A man wanted since 2015 in connection with a smash-and-grab robbery spree that spanned six states has been apprehended and appeared in federal court Tuesday.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit, the FBI’s Phoenix division arrested 32-year-old Arthur Berry Jr. on March 18.

He was extradited to Michigan earlier this week to face charges of conspiring to interfere with commerce by robbery.

Berry, who is from Detroit, fled to Arizona in 2015 after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Michigan earlier that year, authorities said.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Berry allegedly helped to lead a group that conducted the following smash-and-grab jewelry store robberies:
— September 2014 at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Toledo, Ohio;
— October 2014 at Lux Bond & Green Jewelers in West Hartford, Connecticut;
— November 2014 at Fink’s Jewelers in Sterling, Virginia;
— November 2014 at RF Moeller Jewelry in St. Paul, Minnesota;
— February 2015 at Jared in Erie, Pennsylvania; and
— September 2015 at Jared in Portage, Michigan.

The Detroit-based robbery crew to which Berry was allegedly connected was one of two gangs perpetrating smash-and-grab jewelry story robberies across the country in 2014 and 2015. (The other crew was based out of Oakland, California.)

The gangs were so effective in their methods that they contributed to what the Jewelers’ Security Alliance described as an “explosion” in smash-and-grab robberies in the industry in 2014. After police began arresting members of the two gangs in 2015, the number of smash-and-grabs fell by 50 percent in the second half of 2015, the JSA said in its annual crime report for 2015.

Berry is the only remaining suspect out of nearly two dozen that have been prosecuted in connection with the robberies, according to the Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents, his co-defendants all pleaded guilty and received various sentences, including a 14-year prison term for one of the group’s leaders.

Berry faces six counts of conspiring to interfere with commerce by robbery.

If convicted, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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