Local News

Polite thieves use sledgehammers in jewelry store smash-and-grab

Posted October 22, 2014 11:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 23, 2014 5:02 p.m. EDT

— Authorities in South Carolina have arrested three men accused of stealing Rolex watches from a Fayetteville jewelry store after smashing several glass display cases with sledgehammers.

It all happened shortly before noon Wednesday at Reeds Jewelers at Cross Creek Mall after one of the men accidentally bumped into a customer – a soldier – and politely excused himself.

But Fayetteville police say the politeness ended when the suspects headed straight to the jewelry counter, took the watches and other merchandise and then fled in a four-door sedan waiting outside.

With the help of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies, authorities tracked the men to Dillon, S.C., about an hour from Fayetteville, where they were arrested.

Dajuan Cortez Marcellus, 24, Darien Savon Thompson, 21, and Brandon Phillip Wilkerson, 24, were each charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Sources close to the investigation told WRAL News that authorities were able to keep up with the suspects' every move as they made their way down Interstate 95, thanks to GPS tracking devices inside the cases of the expensive watches.

Investigators haven't identified the men or said what charges they face. They are awaiting extradition back to Fayetteville.