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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Friday, February 27, 2015

Five People Charged And Arrested For Smash And Grab Jewelry Robbery In Cherry Creek

DENVER – Five individuals were arrested early Wednesday morning in Northern California after law enforcement determined that they were allegedly responsible for the smash and grab robbery of the Williams Jewelers store in Cherry Creek, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced.  A Criminal Complaint was filed in the District of Colorado charging the five individuals with Robbery affecting commerce and Conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce.  They are scheduled to appear this morning before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California, Oakland Division.

Charges have been filed against Anthony Domino, age 21, Summer Sawyer, age 30, Sharde Suwannabart, age 24, Sean McCullough, age 23, and Anthony Tyree, age 23, all of San Francisco, California.  According to the affidavit in support of the Criminal Complaint, on February 24, 2015 at 10:30 a.m., the Denver Police Department responded to a robbery at Williams Jewelers in the Cherry Creek area.  The owner of the store met with officers, telling them that a black female first entered the store looking at watches.  She later left the store stating she was going to get her credit cards.  At that time, three black males wearing black hoodies and black masks and armed with handguns entered the store and robbed the victims at gunpoint.  Williams, the owner, reported that one of the robbers moved him from the back of the store to the desk area of the store at gunpoint.  Employees at the jewelry store described certain characteristics of the female who was in the store prior to the robbery, including the way her fingernails were painted.

Several witnesses observed a maroon Chevy Blazer fleeing the area of the robbery at a high rate of speed.  One witness observed people yelling with urgent voices as they jumped into a running and moving red SUV.  Denver Police officers tracked that Chevy Blazer SUV to an alley next to 370 Clayton Street in Denver.  A records checked determined that the owner of the Blazer was an Aurora resident.  When that resident was contacted by police he said he had sold the vehicle the night before to two unknown black males and two unknown black females after he placed an advertisement on Craigslist.  The buyers contacted him from an out of state phone number.  The owner sold the individuals the vehicle for $1,550 in cash.  The sale took place in the parking lot of University of Colorado Hospital parking lot.  The buyers came to the purchase in a newer Cadillac “Crossover” SUV with California plates.  Law enforcement was able to determine the California license plate number.

Additional investigation determined that based on the license plate the Cadillac SUV was rented at San Francisco Airport from Enterprise Rent-A-Car.  On February 25, 2015, agents obtained a federal court order to contact OnStar.  An employee from OnStar utilized the GPS feature for the vehicle in question, determining that at approximately 3:15 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, or roughly nearly 17 hours after the robbery of Williams Jewelers, the vehicle was located driving in a southbound direction on Interstate 80 near Roseville, CA.  The FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force agents made contact with the California Highway Patrol (CHP).  CHP units attempted to make contact with the Cadillac SUV.  At that time the SUV led law enforcement on a vehicle pursuit.  After the Cadillac was involved in a single vehicle crash off of Interstate 80, in the San Francisco Bay Area, officers reported that four to five occupants fled the vehicle on foot.  Ultimately five occupants were taken into custody by the CHP. 

In the vehicle was a Glock semi-automatic handgun.  One defendant had at least five Rolex watches, including one that had serial numbers matching a watch taken at Williams’ Jewelry.  Follow up investigation with witnesses and victims of the crime, as well as additional analysis of evidence obtained resulted in all five people in the car being charged with federal Robbery crimes, as related to the Hobbs Act.  Sawyer, who matches the surveillance video of the woman in the store who said she was interested in watches and was observed to have specifically painted fingernails and who is seen on video opening the store doors for the robbers, was in the crashed car.  Suwannabart was also in the crashed car.  She matches surveillance video taken from the Englewood Williams Jewelers store, where on February 23, 2015 she was carefully watching the store.  The three males from the car matched witness descriptions and/or had stolen evidence in their possession at time of arrest.

“The raw violence used in the take-over robbery of a Denver jewelry store left no doubt of the urgent need to identify, locate and arrest the perpetrators,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Thanks to the extraordinary work of the FBI, the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, and the many law enforcement partners who worked together with prosecutors from this office late into the night, a crew of violent interstate robbers was apprehended in California less than 24 hours after their crime.”

 “The arrests in this case highlight the success that can be attained when federal, state, and local agencies combine resources to aggressively pursue those that commit serious acts of violence,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle.   “We extend our gratitude to our law enforcement partners for working together and using innovative strategies to quickly apprehend violent criminals threatening the safety of our community.”

If convicted of Robbery affecting commerce, each defendant faces not more than 20 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.  If convicted of Conspiracy to commit robbery affecting commerce, each defendant faces not more than 5 years in federal prison, and up to a $250,000 fine.

This matter was investigated by the FBI, the Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, with substantial thanks to local citizens, the Denver Police Department, the Aurora Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Denver District Attorney’s Office, the State Auto Theft Intelligence Coordination Center, the California State Threat Assessment Center, the Chico (California) Police Department, the Martinez (California) Police Department, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Folsom (California) Police Department.  All of these agencies focused resources on this incident and contributed to the identification, location and apprehension of the suspects.

The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Celeste Rangel and Matthew Kirsch.

A Criminal Complaint is a probable cause charging document.  Anyone accused of committing a felony violation of federal law has a Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury.

The charges in the Criminal Complaint are allegations.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 22, 2015