Four Philadelphia Men Charged In $4.4 Million Dollar Jewelry Heist
WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, and Stephen E. Vogt, Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that defendants, DARRELL WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Blue,” age 43 of Philadelphia, DAVID STORY, a/k/a “Dawoo,” age 46 of Philadelphia, RUFUS LAWSON, a/k/a “Ru,” “Alonzo Nowell,” age 48 of Philadelphia, and WILLIE HAWKINS SMITH, age 22 of Philadelphia, have been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951; one count of committing Hobbs Act Robbery; and one count of possessing and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c), for their roles in the November 1, 2011, armed robbery of Stuart Kingston Jewelers, located in Wilmington, Delaware. Jackie Howard, an unindicted co-conspirator in this robbery, was separately indicted in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
If convicted, Darrell Williams, David Story, Rufus Lawson, and Willie Hawkins Smith each face a maximum sentence of life in prison. Darrell Williams, David Story, Rufus Lawson, and Willie Hawkins Smith also face a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years. All defendants also face possible fines, supervised release and special assessments.
According to the Indictment, which was unsealed yesterday in Delaware’s District Court, in the weeks leading up to the robbery, the defendants targeted Stuart Kingston Jewelers. Prior to the robbery, the defendants cased the jewelry store so that they would be familiar with the store’s lay-out. On November 1, 2011, the defendants drove to Stuart Kingston Jewelers in two separate vehicles. One car was a rented white U-Haul cargo van, which displayed a stolen New York State license plate to conceal the U-Haul van’s true license plate. The other car was a rented Nissan Sentra, which was used to conduct counter-surveillance during the armed robbery. Upon arriving at the store, four of the defendants, armed with a handgun, hammers, zip-ties, and duct tape, conducted a take-over style robbery of Stuart Kingston Jewelers. A fifth defendant remained outside the store in the Nissan Sentra acting as a look-out.
At the time of the robbery, surveillance cameras were operating throughout Stuart Kingston Jewelers, and the front door to the store was locked. One of the defendants, however, was able to gain entry by showing his face to the security camera, which caused an employee to unwittingly and remotely unlock the door. Once the front door was unlocked, all of the defendants entered the jewelry store. The remaining defendants wore coats, gloves, and masks to conceal their identities.
Two of the defendants immediately tied up three store employees with zip-ties and duct tape, while the remaining defendants smashed the display cases, removed the jewelry, and placed the jewelry into bags. The defendants robbed the store of hundreds of pieces of jewelry, including valuable earrings, brooches, necklaces, and rings, all of which possessed an estimated retail value of approximately $2,427,216.50. The defendants also forced an employee to open and empty the jewelry store’s vault, which was located in the back of the store. The defendants took possession of, among other items, a piece of jewelry known as the “Liberty Bell Ruby.” The “Liberty Bell Ruby is the largest mined ruby in the world, found in east Africa in the 1950s. It weighs approximately four pounds, is approximately eight and a half thousand carats, and is sculpted into the Liberty Bell. It has approximately fifty diamonds set in it and possessed an estimated retail value of approximately $2,000,000.00.
This case was investigated by the FBI, Wilmington Resident Agency. Assistant United States Attorney Jamie M. McCall is prosecuting this case.
For further information, contact Assistant United States Attorney Jamie M. McCall or United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III.
An Indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.