Member of Detroit Jewelry-Heisting Crew Arrested in MassPosted: August 19, 2011
An alleged member of a massive, nationwide jewelry theft ring was arrested in Massachusetts this week.
Ventrous Stewart, 21, of Detroit was allegedly part of a “grab and go” robbery ring based in Detroit, but conducted heists around the country, according to an FBI affidavit. The ring has stolen about $1.2 million in goods through 45 heists in 22 states, according to investigators.
At least one of those robberies occurred in Massachusetts – and Stewart was allegedly the man who did it.
On Oct. 7, 2009, Stewart allegedly snatched an $18,000 watch from an employees hand at a jewelry store in Auburn, Mass. The watch broke and Stewart fled with only its dial, authorities said. Stewart was allegedly identified through fingerprints found in the store.
He was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Massachusetts Wednesday on an outstanding warrant casted by a Federal Judge in Michigan in April, the warrant does not specify the charges against Stewart.
The members of the ring went to great lengths to make the thefts appear as though they were isolated incidents, but a total of 19 individuals have been identified through wire tapped conversations on prison phone lines, according to an affidavit written by FBI agent Brian Max.
Typically, the ring carried out the thefts by sending one man into a store and ask an employee to show them an expensive watch or ring, Max wrote. The suspect would grab the jewelry from the employees hand and dash from the store to a waiting getaway driver, waiting in a rental car.
The ring would rotate who went into the stores and spread out the thefts across the country, Max wrote. The goods were brought back to three stores in Detroit where they were re-sold, according to the affidavit.
The most common items taken were Rolexes and diamond rings.
Stewart was previously arrested in Michigan in 2009 on a charge of grand theft, according to bustedmugshots.com.