New York--Two men pleaded guilty earlier this month for their roles in armed robberies at high-end jewelry and watch stores in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Connecticut that led to the theft of more than $1 million in goods.

According to the FBI, Sean Robinson, 43, and 31-year-old Kendal Thompson both pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska to one count each of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

Between July 2013 and January 2014, the organized crew that Robinson and Thompson were a part of committed a series of violent daytime robberies in the four states, smashing display cases with hammers while customers and employees were in the stores.

They also used violence as necessary to carry out their robberies, the FBI said. During one robbery in August 2013 in Virginia, for example, the robbers used a handheld stun gun to subdue an employee at the store before fleeing with $100,000 in watches. 

They stole more than $1 million total in goods, hitting stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Atlantic City and Cranford N.J., Richmond, Va. and New Canaan, Conn. 

Robinson has been named as the crew’s leader, planning a series of the robberies committed by the group.

To date, authorities have apprehended eight members of the crew and all have pleaded guilty. 

Only two have been sentenced so far--Allen Williams received 108 months (nine years) in prison and Terrell Ratliff got 33 months (almost three years.)

Two more defendants, Jamal Dehoyos and Courtney Hardin, remain wanted by the FBI and are considered armed and dangerous. 

|Subscribe >

Copyright © 2019 National Jeweler. All Rights Reserved.