By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
A screen shot from the surveillance video capturing the grab-and-run robbery last week at Mirage Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, as posted on the YouTube account of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect remains at large.
Brandon, Fla.--A jewelry store employee in Florida was seriously injured last week after doing the unthinkable--pursuing a grab-and-run robber out of the store and then clinging to the hood of his car as he sped away.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred last Tuesday at Mirage Diamonds & Fine Jewelry in the Brandon Town Center Mall. (Brandon is a town in the Tampa Bay metropolitan area.)

Surveillance video shows the suspect putting on a thick gold necklace and then looking at himself in the mirror before sprinting out of the store with the necklace and a bracelet worth about $24,000, with the employee who had been helping him in pursuit.

20160913 grab-suspect-2A surveillance camera shot of the suspect, described as a black male about 6 feet 1 inch tall and between 25 and 30 years old
Once outside the store, the sheriff’s office said the suspect got into a late model two-door silver Chevrolet Camaro and the store employee latched onto the hood.

He hung on for about a quarter mile before being thrown off, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The employee suffered life-threating injuries and was transported to Tampa General Hospital.

Debbie Carter, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough (Fla.) County Sheriff’s Office, told National Jeweler that the store employee remains in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.

The suspect remains at large and the case is still under investigation, she said.


A sheriff’s office spokesman told the Times that retail employees should avoid going to extreme measures to thwart a thief. It’s the same advice that the Jewelers’ Security Alliance gives, not to resist in the event of a robbery but, instead, to just comply to avoid injury.


This surveillance camera footage that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office posted to its YouTube channel shows the grab-and-run robbery and the employee’s subsequent pursuit of the suspect. The grab-and-run occurs at 2:54, with a second angle on it at 5:49.

The suspect is described as a 25- to 30-year-old black male, about 6 feet 1 inch tall, with a trimmed beard and wearing a dark blue hat, black t-shirt, dark pants and black shoes. He was last seen going northbound on Interstate 75.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). Anonymous reporting also is available online at CrimeStopperstb.com.


Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.