2 Robbery Suspects Charged, Connected to 8 Other Incidents

CrimeApr 05, 2021

2 Robbery Suspects Charged, Connected to 8 Other Incidents

They have been charged with aggravated robbery for allegedly stealing $70,000 in jewels from a Salt Lake City store on Oct. 31, 2019.

Salt Lake City—Two men have been charged for robbing a Salt Lake City jewelry store on Halloween two years ago, and now have also been connected to several other incidents in California. 

On March 26, Jerome Welton McWilliams, 29, and Darnel Batts, 33, were charged with aggravated robbery in the Third District Court of Utah. 

According to court documents, the two entered Stroud Jewelers on Oct. 31, 2019, expressing interest in purchasing several pieces of jewelry. 

McWilliams looked at rings and then allegedly told Batts to go out to the car and get the bag of cash because he was going to buy something for his girlfriend. 

When Batts came back with the duffel bag, McWilliams allegedly grabbed the store owner, who had been helping them, and pushed him against a wall, then ordered him to open all the display cases.

He then took a handgun out and pointed it at the owner’s face, as per court documents.

The two suspects were said to have taken $70,000 in jewels.  

According to the Jewelers’ Security Alliance and an affidavit related to the case, when the Salt Lake City Police released pictures of the suspects after the incident, JSA contacted them to let them know they recognized the suspects as being involved in a series of eight different robberies out of California over the past four months. 

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

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