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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Time Is Up For A Detroit Man Arrested In Connection With Robbery Of Rolex Watches During Amherst Jewelry Store Heist

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Davonta Hill, 23, of Detroit, MI, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and Hobbs Act robbery. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on February 2, 2018, at approximately 6:35 p.m., the Reeds-Jenss Jewelry Store, located at 4001 Maple Road in Amherst, NY, was robbed by four males wearing hooded sweatshirts to hide their identities, while a fifth individual waited outside by a vehicle. Three of the males walked directly to the display case containing Rolex watches, while the fourth male placed a block of ice in the automatic doorway to ensure it stayed open. When the ice failed to do so, the fourth male stayed in the doorway holding the door open. Two of the males smashed the glass and removed multiple Rolex watches. The four males exited the store and returned to the waiting vehicle.

The value of the stolen watches totaled approximately $400,000 in retail costs. In addition, $100,000 worth in watches were damaged during the breaking of the case. During the investigation following the robbery, Amherst police recovered one of the hammers used during the robbery. Detectives also recovered high quality surveillance footage during the time of the robbery. The footage showed that one of the suspects was wearing brightly colored orange sneakers and a distinctive brand jacket at the time of the robbery.

On February 14, 2018, the Strongsville, Ohio Police Department (SPD) responded to a call from Sheiban's Jewelers regarding a suspicious situation. Employees reported that two black males wearing gloves entered the store with the hoods of their hooded sweatshirts over their faces. The two males remained for a few minutes and exited the store without making a purchase. The males were seen getting into a tan SUV. A short time later, officers attempted a vehicle and traffic stop with their emergency lights activated but the tan SUV failed to stop and attempted to elude officers at high speeds. During the pursuit, the tan SUV struck four civilian vehicles and three marked SPD cruisers. The tan SUV was eventually stopped and the driver and passenger were taken into custody. The driver was identified as Davonta Hill.

Following the defendant’s arrest, Strongsville Police contacted Amherst Police believing that the two robberies were connected. SPD officers reviewed photographs of the Amherst robbery suspects and indicated that Hill bore a strong resemblance to one of the Amherst suspects. SPD detectives executed a search warrant on the tan SUV and recovered a two hammers; a gym bag containing an orange pair of sneakers; and a locked box. Inside the box were two loaded firearms; a quantity of marijuana; and the title for the tan SUV in the name of Davonta Hill.

The criminal complaint is the result of an investigation by the Amherst Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Askey; the Strongsville, Ohio Police Department, under the direction of Chief Mark Fender; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  

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Updated November 6, 2018