Local News

'Outstanding patrol work' credited for Cary jewelry store arrest

Posted January 29, 2013 2:24 p.m. EST
Updated January 29, 2013 7:28 p.m. EST

— Cary police are crediting an officer's quick action for an arrest in the robbery Monday morning of a high-end jewelry store in which thieves got away with more than $250,000 in watches and other assorted pieces.

"It wasn't a random act. They were fairly organized," Cary police Lt. Steve Fonke said Tuesday of the heist at J.M. Edwards Fine Jewelry, on Kildaire Farm Road. "At the end of the day, we were able to take one into custody through some really outstanding patrol work."

Police said officer Alesha Snyder was the first to arrive at the store Monday morning and confronted three men as they were leaving the store.

"Of course, there were three of them and one of her, but she was able to take one of them into custody," Fonke said.

Snyder declined an interview Tuesday.

The robbery happened around 10:30 a.m. Monday after an employee, mistaking the men for another employee, let them in through a controlled-access door.

Surveillance video released Tuesday shows the men, masked and wearing hooded sweat jackets and blue jeans, entering the store. Two, including one brandishing a gun, jump over the showcase counter, while a third, carrying a bag, walks out of view of the camera.

Police said all three men had weapons, and, according to an arrest warrant, threatened the employee's life.

The men left through a back door, where Snyder was able to capture and arrest Rodger Kent Williams and recover some of the stolen jewelry.

Kent, 41, of 1927 E. Erie Ave., Philadelphia, was later jailed under a $500,000 bond on charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to arrest records, he was convicted in 1998 of robbery in Pennsylvania and spent up to 10 years in prison there.

Authorities aren't sure what his connection to North Carolina might be.

Investigators are still searching for the two men who were seen by witnesses running from the jewelry store.

"Our concern is that these men are not from the area and may quickly flee," Fonke said. "Anyone with any information, no matter how seemingly small of a detail, is encouraged to report it immediately so that we may bring swift justice to this business owner.”

Tips can be reported to the Cary Police Department at 919-469-4012 or Cary Crime Stoppers at 919-226-2746.

Crime Stoppers pays up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible for committing certain types of crimes.