WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – Police are looking for three armed robbers who stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry from a West Bloomfield jewelry store in broad daylight.
The robbery happened around 5 p.m. Tuesday at Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry Store in the Orchard Mall, at Orchard Lake and Maple roads.
Police Lt. Curt Lawson told WWJ all three suspects showed handguns — two of the robbers were wearing bandanas and ski masks and one had a beard.
“Once they entered the store, they ordered everyone within the store on to the ground,” said Lawson. “They did forcibly push several people down. They did order one employee at gunpoint to open up a glass merchandise case.”
Lawson said the trio was very specific about what they wanted.
“You see them emptying the Rolex watches out of the case and then very methodically leaving, not in a hurry, very professional,” he said.
Twelve employees and seven customers were inside the store at the time, but Lawson said no one was hurt.
“We ordered a K-9 unit from West Bloomfield to the scene, we did a track of the suspects and determined that the suspects had left in a vehicle in the rear of the mall area,” said Lawson. “Our detectives at that point obtained surveillance video of both the suspects that were inside of the store and of the suspects vehicle leaving the scene.”
The vehicle police are looking for is a late-model dark-colored Chrysler Town & Country minivan.
A similar robbery took place around noon at a jewelry store in Kent County, and police believe the two incidents could be related.
“The detectives right now are getting the serial numbers of the watches that were taken so we’ll have an inventory, and we’ll be putting that into our computer system and sharing that with other law enforcement officials throughout the state,” Lawson said Wednesday morning.
A sign outside of Tapper’s says the premises is patrolled by off-duty, plain clothes police officers, although it wasn’t immediately clear if any of them were present during the robbery. The sign also says the store is equipped with a 24-hour surveillance system that is monitored and controlled remotely.
All three suspects are described as black males wearing dark clothing. Police only have a detailed description of one suspect — a man with a heavy build, 5’10” to 6’2″ tall, and about 220 lbs. with a beard.
Anyone with information about the robbery or the suspects are asked to call the West Bloomfield Police at 248-975-9200.