Three sentenced for stealing $1.3 million in Rolexes from Tapper’s
Three more men were sentenced Friday for their roles in armed robberies at two jewelry stores in Michigan.
David Briley, 47, Shaheed Calhoun, 36, and Orlando Johnson, 42, were each sentenced to 33 years in prison for their roles in an armed robbery at Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry in West Bloomfield, and an attempted armed robbery of Medawar Jewelers in Grand Rapids in April 2014, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.
A fourth man, Nathaniel Pembrook, was given a similar sentence last week.
They all faced charges including conspiracy to interfere and interference with interstate commerce, use of a firearm in commission of a crime and felons in possession of firearms. They were found guilty after a four week trial last November and December.
The four lived in Philadelphia and came to Michigan April 21 and 22, 2014, to target jewelry stores, particularly Rolex distributors, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.
They first went to Medawar Jewelers and while one smashed the Rolex display with a hammer, others went in back looking for valuables. When the owners shot one of them, the four fled without taking anything. About five hours later, three identically dressed men entered Tappers on Orchard Lake Road, held employees and customers at gunpoint and stole about $1.3 million worth of Rolexes.
Investigators broke the case by matching DNA from Pembroke’s blood in Medawar with blood collected when he went to Pennsylvania Prysberatian Hospital on April 23 to be treated for a gunshot wound. Michigan State Police matched the bullet removed from Pembroke’s arm to the gun used by the Medawar owners against the robbers.
Video and cell phone information also placed all the men at the sites of the robberies at the time they were committed, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Briley had been convicted 17 times previously for larceny and armed robbery, Johnson 13 times and Calhoun eight.
Authorities are still trying to identify the last two robbers. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation.