One Jeweler's Surveillance May Help in Theft Case at Another

Authorities continue their search for an accused jewelry thief on the loose. A key to his capture may come from another jewelry store.

The three suspects in the crime -- two of which are in custody -- also cased David Gardner's Jewelers in College Station just hours before they grabbed an expensive ring from Fling Jewelers in Bryan and ran.

Surveillance video from Gardner's shows the three men being helped by employees during their 40-minute stay at the store. News 3 was tipped off to the suspects' visit Wednesday and informed authorities.

Because the video is still being analyzed, Bryan Police are not releasing it as of yet.

Howard Jefferson and Joe Tennell, both 21, both with extensive rap sheets in Brazos County, were arrested shortly after the Fling incident and have been charged with third-degree felony theft charges.

Gardner's employees say they thought the trio was suspicious when they entered, and took precautions.

"We've always said that numbers are the safest way to go, so three of us were helping three of them, so it wasn't one person like it would be normally," said Moriah Smith, who helped the suspects at Gardner's. "We had most of our jewelers -- who are all males -- go to the front and spread out across the store."

Also, authorities now say an employee at Fling fired a shot at the fleeing suspects as they were rushing out. Police don't believe anyone was hit.

As for the ring, police have not yet recovered the item. They say they made an extensive search of the two suspects and the location Tennell was found hiding.

The value of that ring is unknown, though it is more than $20,000 because of the third-degree felony charges that have been filed.

The suspect still loose is described by authorities as a 6'2", 180 pound black male, though Smith at David Gardner's say the person she dealt with is more like 5'10", 150 pounds.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of the suspect still loose, call Bryan Police.


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