Crime Stoppers: Police seek suspect in jewelry store holdup - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Crime Stoppers: Police seek suspect in jewelry store holdup

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- This week in Crime Stoppers, Chattanooga Police are on the case of a jewel heist we told you about April 4.

The suspect hit up Markman's at Hamilton Place and now we have pictures that show a terrifying scene for employees.

In last week's case, the crooks simply grabbed the rings and ran. This week, the thug pulls a handgun, and then uses pepper spray to mask his getaway.

"He was in and out in six minutes," says Detective Kendon Massengale, with the CPD's Property Crimes Division.

But, as surveillance video shows, in those six minutes, the suspect was able to commit, in Detective Massengale's words, a very extreme and violent crime.

It's the morning of April 3, and Markman's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry on Hamilton Place Boulevard has just opened for business.

Our suspect enters and asks to see some merchandise. As the clerk turns her back, he jumps the counter and points a gun at her head.

"This man makes a demand for cash, gives them a black bag, orders them to fill the bag with jewelry from the store," says Detective Massengale."He got approximately 90 loose certified diamonds. They're estimate is about $300,000 dollars in stolen jewelry."

But even with his stolen loot in hand, this crook wasn't finished. He's now used his handgun to assemble a group of employees.

"At that point, takes them to a back room, sprays them with pepper spray and leaves the business," says Detective Massengale.

He had entered the store on foot, but they were obviously in shape to see how he got away. 

A clue to his identity may come from his attire.  The detective says he was seen in the store the week prior, wearing the same getup.

"This was a brown T-shirt, blue jeans," Detective Massengale says. "He had a woven hat, like a knit cap, and tennis shoes."

If caught, Detective Massengale says the suspect could face a laundry list of charges.

"Everything from aggravated robbery to aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, of course felony theft," says Massengale.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 698-3333.

You could earn a cash reward and as always, a police officer may answer the phone, but you never have to give your identity.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates as they become available.

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