Police: Diamond heist suspects still at-large, gun and portion of jewels found stashed
(WJLA) - Sheriff's deputies in Frederick are investigating an armed robbery at a jewelry store on Buckeystown Pike Wednesday morning.
The robbery was reported at about 10:50 a.m. at the Wholesale Diamond Consultants. Sheriff's deputies were on scene within two minutes.
While deputies searched the nearby shopping center for four suspects, detectives combed the store for evidence.
According to Tim Clarke, a Frederick County sheriff's deputy, the suspects got away with jewels and cash.
Deputies said two people entered Wholesale Diamond Consultants, followed by two more. One of them pulled a gun, and the four suspects loaded diamonds into a bag and then cleaned out the cash register. The suspects then took off on foot.
Witnesses reported seeing the four suspects -- three black men and a black woman -- flee toward the shopping center across the street, which prompted an intense search by the sheriff's office, during which nearby Ballenger Creek Elementary School and Carroll Creek Montessori School were placed on lockdown.
Based on witness tips, deputies combed surveillance video footage from nearby businesses and saw who they believed to be two of the four suspects fleeing, carrying the bag they loaded the stolen goods and cash in.
"Those two subjects then walked out of view of the camera -- within 30 seconds, the individual that was carrying the bag was picked up by the same camera without the bag," sheriff's deputies said in a statement. "That subject then walked over to a dumpster and threw something inside and left the area."
"Investigators searched the dumpster and located what they believe is the handgun used in the robbery," the statement indicated.
Shortly after, deputies also checked a waste container in the direction the subjects fled and discovered the bag the suspect had been seen carrying in the video. Inside the bag were what is believed to be a significant portion, if not all, of the diamonds and money stolen in the armed robbery.
Meanwhile, deputies honed in on a male acting suspiciously at the movie theater located in the shopping center. They said the man fit the description of the suspect that was seen on camera carrying the bag and throwing something into the trash container.
After reviewing the footage again, deputies confirmed the man at the movie theater was the suspect seen on camera.
The suspect is now in custody and being interviewed by authorities. The other three suspects remain at-large. No charges have been filed at this time.
As of late Wednesday afternoon, deputies were maintaining a presence in the area of Route 85 and Crestwood Boulevard in case more information becomes available about the at-large suspects.