ADVERTISEMENT

Man pleads guilty in $3M Fairfield jewelry heist

January 20, 2017 GMT

Nearly four years after a brazen $3 million jewelry theft, a Pennsylvania man had pleaded guilty to charges in his role in the heist.

Timothy Forbes, 35, of Allentown, Pa., pleaded guilty Thursday in Bridgeport federal court to federal charges stemming from his role in a violent kidnapping and jewelry store robbery in April 2013.

The heist began at around 9 p.m. on April 11, 2013, when Kasam Hennix, William Davis, Christopher Gay and Jeffrey Houston, all of whom were wearing masks and gloves and two of whom were armed with handguns, broke into an apartment on Gravel Street in Meriden. There they bound four victims with duct tape and covered their heads with pillowcases, towels and jackets.

Hennix, Davis, and Houston then forced two of the victims into a victim’s vehicle and drove to Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, where the two victims worked.

Forbe traveled to Fairfield in a separate vehicle, and Gay remained in the Meriden apartment to guard the two other victims.

ADVERTISEMENT

Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut, said in a release, “After Hennix, Davis and Houston arrived at the Fairfield store, they stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds with a total replacement value of more than $3 million. They then fled in the victim’s car, leaving the two victims bound inside the store. Hennix, Davis and Houston abandoned the victim’s vehicle and got into Forbe’s vehicle. One of the defendants called Gay to advise him that they had successfully carried out the robbery and that he should leave the apartment. The defendants then fled the state.”

The five defendants were arrested in May 2013.

Investigators determined that Forbes, Houston and Gay had traveled from Pennsylvania to Connecticut on several occasions in the weeks prior to the robbery in order to track the victims’ movements between Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield and their residence in Meriden. In addition, FORBES and Gay placed a GPS on one of the victim’s vehicles in an effort to make it easier to track him.

Forbes pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on April 13, 2017 - nearly four years to the day of the heist - at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

Hennix, of Easton, Pa.; Davis, of Allentown, Pa.; Houston, of Allentown; and Gay, of the Bronx, N.Y., also pleaded guilty to federal charges.

On April 17, 2015, Davis was sentenced to 176 months in prison; on January 27, 2016,

Gay was sentenced to 102 months in prison, and, on February 8, 2016,

Hennix was sentenced to 171 months of imprisonment.

Houston awaits sentencing.

ADVERTISEMENT

The defendants have been ordered to pay restitution of more than $3.1 million, and have forfeited gemstones, jewelry, watches, a vehicle, and more than $127,000 in cash seized from them at the time of their arrests.

Daley said Forbes has been involved in at least three other similar jewelry store robberies, including one that occurred in York, Pa., in July 2012.

During that robbery, one of FORBES’ co-defendants shot the owner of the store, permanently disabling him. On March 23, 2016, Forbes was sentenced in the Middle District of Pennsylvania to 14 years of imprisonment for his role in that robbery.