2 men steal $500,000 in jewels from store

CRIME WATCH

Baltimore & Region

November 16, 2005|By JUSTIN FENTON

The man strolled through the Bel Air jewelry store, scanning cases of diamonds and wedding bands along with other customers. He had bought his girlfriend a promise ring a few months back, JM Jewelers owner Edgar Milad recalled him saying, and now he wanted the real thing. He wanted to check with his fiancee before making a purchase, however, and told Milad he'd be back.

Three hours later, he returned - with a gun.

Police say the man and an accomplice made off with more than $500,000 in jewels Monday after forcing Milad into the store's bathroom, said Robert B. Thomas, a spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Milad said the value of the stolen goods was about $750,000.

The first man arrived about 2 p.m. and looked at diamonds.

The owner said there was nothing suspicious about the well-groomed man.

"I feel intuition - I know when somebody isn't right," he said. "To me, there was no suspicion at all."

Upon returning about 5 p.m., the man asked Milad to show him a particular diamond. Milad said he reached for some tweezers to pick up the stone and felt a gun in his stomach. The man told Milad he was going to kill him.

The robber forced Milad into a back restroom and was joined by an accomplice.

A FedEx delivery employee, identified as Steven Kornya of Pikesville, arrived and also was forced into the back room, police said.

The robbers did not cause any damage, Milad said. Police are reviewing surveillance footage and offering up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Milad said he was happy to be safe. It was the store's first major incident since opening in June.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call Harford County Crime Solvers at 888-540-TIPS.

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