CRIME

Jewelry store employee murdered in Arlington shop

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP/ABC7-WJLA) - Police believe the man wanted for the murder of a man in an Arlington jewelry store may also be wanted for a jewelry store armed robbery in D.C.

From surveillance camera, courtesy of Arlington County Police.

Now, police in both jurisdictions are working together to find the suspect.

Police in the District say on June 9 at 4:41 p.m., a man wearing a florescent vest walked into Bensons Jewelers in Northwest and pointed a gun at the owner.

The suspect demanded that a small bag be filled with diamonds.

"I didn't fight him...I didn't say anything...he just said go in the room and close the door," said the jewelry store owner, who asked to remain anonymous. 

After a few minutes in the store, the suspect left with over $20,000 in jewelry.

Just over two weeks later, police believe the same suspect may have struck again - this time in Arlington.

The son of a man killed at the Arlington store says the man was hard-working and dedicated to his family.

Twenty-five-year-old Desmond Wong confirmed to The Washington Post Sunday that his father, 52-year-old Tommy Wong, was slain inside his store during a robbery Friday afternoon. Police have not named the victim, who lived in Herndon.

Desmond Wong says Tommy Wong was "a great father" and husband with a strong work ethic. The man was found dead inside the store after family members called police because he hadn't returned home from work.

The slaying was the second in two days in Arlington County. Three days before the fatal robbery, an apparent murder-suicide became the county's first homicide in more than two years.

Arlington police say the suspect in the jewelry store killing walked into the store, located in the 3200 block of Columbia Pike, around 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Police say he is in his 50's, about 5'7", and was wearing a neon-colored traffic vest.

Surveillance footage from the D.C. robbery shows a man that looks similar to the suspect in Arlington.

"Arlington is usually a pretty safe town...Robberies happen often...but murder is seldom...I would think," James Allen said, as he dined in a Columbia Pike restaurant.

Business owner Faruk Yildirim added, "A robbery next door..we didn't know what to think when we saw all the cops here."

Anyone who may have been driving in the area and spotted the suspect is asked to call police.

Police are also checking with other law enforcement agencies in the region to see if there have been other similar robberies.

See surveillance footage from the D.C. armed robbery below.

 

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