The majority of suspects in a ring that allegedly stole $6 million worth of Rolexes and other high-end watches was behind bars today, authorities said.
The crew was responsible for a brazen, $1.63 million heist at Geary’s Rolex Boutique in Westfield Century City last summer in which two of three suspects were carrying assault-type weapons, according to federal officials and Los Angeles police.
One of the suspects opened fire after a security guard intervened, but no one was hit.
Following a 13-count grand jury indictment last week that essentially alleges the ring's members conspired to commit robbery, four defendants were arrested this morning, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles announced.
Three were already in custody, feds said, and two are on the loose. Fugitives were listed as 27-year-old Inglewood resident Evan Scott, an alleged gunman in two of the robberies, and 21-year-old L.A. resident Kenneth Paul, an alleged recruiter for the crew.
Photos of the two are below. If you know where they are, contact 1-888-ATF-TIPS or 911.
The ring organized 10 robberies that targeted stores that carry watches from Rolex, Audemars Piguet and TAG Heuer, prosecutors alleged.
"The organizers planned the details of the robberies, including selecting the display cases to be smashed, and providing the firearms, tools, disguises and stolen cars used in the robberies," they said in a statement.
The ring enlisted rubes to do much of the dirty work, they said.
"The organizers of the conspiracy recruited financially desperate young men to perform the smash-and-grab robberies, often by promising large sums of money if they were successful," the U.S. Attorney's Office stated. "However, when those involved in the actual robberies were eventually paid, they often received much less than what they had promised, despite stealing watches and other jewelry worth approximately $6 million."
Here's prosecutors' list of alleged robberies:
The Aug. 3, 2015, robbery of Edward George Jewelers in Canoga Park, during which approximately $59,105 in watches and engagement rings were stolen;
the Aug. 24, 2015, armed robbery of Rolex Boutique Geary’s in the Century City Mall, during which 40 Rolex watches with an approximate retail value of $1.63 million were stolen;
the Oct. 21, 2015, armed robbery of Frederic H. Rubel Jewelers in the Shops at Mission Viejo, during which 40 Rolex watches and David Yurman jewelry with an approximate retail value of $595,000 were stolen;
the Jan. 22, 2016, armed robbery of Manya Jewelry in Woodland Hills, during which three Rolex watches and other assorted watches and jewelry with an approximate retail value of $192,410 were stolen;
the Feb. 7, 2016, robbery of Ben Bridge Jewelers in the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, during which 35 Rolex watches with an approximate retail value of $298,00 were stolen;
the Feb. 17, 2016, armed robbery of Westime in West Hollywood, during which 18 Audemars Piguet watches with an approximate retail value of $576,200 were stolen;
the Feb. 29, 2016, armed robbery of Ben Bridge Jewelers in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, during which 30 Rolex watches with an approximate retail value of $456,325 were stolen;
the March 9, 2016, armed robbery of Ben Bridge Jewelers in Canoga Park, during which 36 Rolex watches with an approximate retail value of $662,650 were stolen;
the March 22, 2016, robbery of Westime in Malibu, during which 66 Audermars Piguet, Breitling, Franck Muller, Omega and Hublot watches with an approximate retail value of $1.42 million were stolen;
and the April 24, 2016, robbery of Ben Bridge Jewelers in Santa Monica, during which three Rolex watches and other assorted watches and jewelry with an approximate retail value of $192,000 were stolen.
Defendants charged in connection with the robberies could see 20 years behind bars, feds said. Those involved with using a gun during the commission of alleged robberies could see an extra seven years or even 10 if shots were fired, they said.
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"The organizers of this ring carefully planned and executed a series of daylight robberies that terrified and endangered store employees and bystanders," said the U.S. Attorney in L.A., Eileen M. Decker. "The indictment and arrests today demonstrate that ringleaders cannot escape prosecution by sending lower-level participants in to commit the crimes on their behalf."