Police still seeking suspects in Zales jewelry store heist

Staff Writer

JACKSON — Law enforcement officials have yet to arrest the two individuals, a man and a woman, who stole an estimated $200,000 worth of merchandise from the Zales jewelry store at the Jackson Premium Outlets, Route 537, on the night of June 28.

Jackson police Lt. Richard Wagner told the Tri-Town News on July 20 that no arrests have been made in the crime and that no details about the vehicle the suspects used to flee the scene have surfaced.

Jackson Detective Sgt. Denis Campbell provided additional details about the incident on July 21. Campbell said law enforcement authorities believe the suspects who were in the store may have used a cell phone to communicate with an accomplice who was waiting outside.

Campbell said law enforcement authorities are almost certain that a third individual was waiting outside the jewelry store for the two suspects to emerge with the stolen items.

He said the jewelry store now has an armed guard on duty at all times. He said law enforcement authorities are checking jewelry store robberies in neighboring states in order to determine if there are any similarities with the Zales heist in Jackson.

A video of the Zales robbery in Jackson has been posted on Youtube at http://youtube/Gy93HNHORP0.

“We spoke to the other jewelry stores in the mall, and everyone expressed their concern because this was a crime that happened during operating hours, and they are just worried about their employees and the customers’ safety,” Campbell said.

Campbell confirmed that the two female employees in the store were the only witnesses to the crime.

According to police, the robbery occurred on June 28 at about 8:30 p.m. Aman and a woman entered the Zales jewelry store and asked an employee if they could look at engagement rings.

The video, which has no sound, shows the two suspects sitting down at a display case and one employee beginning to take items out of the display case. The second employee then joined the first employee at the display case.

As the employees were taking items out of the display case, the man stood up and appeared to brandish a weapon. At that point, the two employees quickly began removing items from the display case and placing them in a bag that was being held by the woman.

Shortly after that, the woman stood up. The man, who had remained standing, motioned the two employees away from the display case and to a back room. Then he and the woman left the store.

As seen on the video, the suspects did not escort the employees to the back room and they did not appear to touch the employees at any time during the incident.

The store employees called police after the suspects fled the scene.

Police estimate the entire incident took less than 15 minutes from start to finish.

The Zales robbery is believed to be one of the largest thefts of merchandise in Jackson history, according to Jackson police Capt. David Newman.

Police provided the following description of the suspects:

Suspect No. 1 was described as a black male with facial hair on his chin only, standing about 6 feet tall and weighing about 175 pounds. He was wearing a white polo-type shirt with dark blue horizontal stripes, jeans, dark sneakers with a white emblem, a fitted hat and sunglasses.

Suspect No. 2 was described as a black female, standing about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing about 135 to 140 pounds, with long dark hair. She was wearing an oversized floppy hat, a gray shirt over a tank top, dark capri-style pants, and she was carrying a multicolor bag.

Anyone with information pertaining to the Zales robbery is asked to contact Jackson Detective Frank Mendez at 732-833- 3009.