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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Indicted In Jewelry Store Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A Philadelphia man was indicted yesterday on charges relating to two Michigan jewelry store robberies, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. 
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office, Sheriff Larry Stelma, Kent County Sheriff’s Department and Chief Michael Patton, West Bloomfield Police Department.
Indicted was Nathaniel Pembrook, 42, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
According to the indictment, on April 22, 2014, Pembrook, along with three other individuals, robbed two jewelry stores.  The first robbery took place at Medawar Jewelers located on Plainfield Avenue in Grand Rapids.  The second robbery took place at Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry located on Orchard Lake in West Bloomfield.  In both robberies, the robbers entered the stores during business hours with their faces covered or partially covered and brandished a firearm while ordering employees and customers to the floor.  During the robbery at Medawar Jewelers, Pembrook was shot in the arm by one of the store owners.  Blood recovered from the scene in Grand Rapids was DNA tested and determined to be that of Nathaniel Pembrook.

"We are using federal resources to address serious incidents of violent crime, such as these armed robberies, because of the high risk of harm they pose to public safety," McQuade said. 

“The arrest and indictment of Mr. Pembrook for his involvement in these acts of violence reflects the dedication, cooperation, and persistence of law enforcement at every level,” stated Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “It is this collaboration—between federal, state and local authorities—that has brought justice to bear upon Mr. Pembrook, and we will continue those efforts as we move forward in the investigation.”

“This is another great example of local and federal authorities working together to keep our communities safe,” stated Kent County Sheriff Larry Stelma.

“I am very pleased that through an ongoing joint collaborative effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the West Bloomfield Police Department, a federal indictment has been obtained charging one of the alleged suspects in the robberies,” said Chief Michael Patton.

Pembrook has been charged with Interference with Commerce by Robbery, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Robbery and being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.  If convicted on all charges, Pembrook faces up to life in federal prison.

Pembrook was arrested in Philadelphia and is currently awaiting removal to Detroit for his arraignment on the charges.

The case was investigated by the FBI Oakland County Gang and Violent Crimes Task Force, the Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the West Bloomfield Police Department.   The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Lemisch with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit with the assistance of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. 

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Every defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated March 19, 2015