STUART, Fla. — A jewelry store heist in Martin County is prompting the Martin County Sheriff’s Office to implement a new safety tool to help foil future crime sprees.
Investigators say 20-year-old Davon McDonald and a 15-year-old accomplice targeted two Martin County jewelry stores Wednesday, successfully stealing a $120,000 necklace from one of the businesses.
Investigators say the duo first stopped at Joseph’s Jewelry near Salerno Road and US 1.
Owner Joseph Napoli said he was immediately suspicious about McDonald, as he was wearing a tightly-cinched hoodie around his face, sunglasses, and a mask.
“He had on heavy padded gloves which are pretty traditional if they want to come in there and try to smash your showcase,” Napoli said.
Napoli asked him to pull down the hoodie and take off the sunglasses. Then, he said McDonald claimed to need to get something out of his car. The duo drove off, but not before Napoli got the license plate number and called 911 with a description.
“Seven minutes after that, they did the robbery in Golden Gate,” said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.“I’ve never had someone come in and try to rob me,” said the owner of Diamonds by Terry, Terry Rieger.
Snyder said he now has a plan to make sure someone like Rieger would get a heads up if other jewelry stores experience suspicious activity.
“We’re going to set up a database so if someone goes in and does something suspicious or does a robbery, we can within seconds notify every jewelry store in Martin County,” Snyder said.
It would be a part of a reverse 911 call system that can send safety alerts to specific neighborhoods, communities, and now, specific businesses.
The database would not be limited to jewelry stores. The sheriff’s office plans to have a database for other high-risk businesses, such as banks or marinas.
"Under the new system if this happened, we would have notified all the jewelry stores and they would have had a heads up,” Snyder said.
Snyder said his office is aiming to have the database working in a matter of days.