STUART, Fla. — A jewelry store robbery triggered a wild chase through Martin and St. Lucie counties on Wednesday and ended with two people in custody, authorities said.
According to the Martin County Sheriff's Office, the suspected crooks stole a neckless worth $125,000 from Diamonds By Terry, located at 3868 SE Dixie Highway in Stuart.
The necklace was a one of a kind custom piece, according to jewelry store owner Terry Rieger.
"This was a very unique piece. It was Ceylon sapphires and lots of diamonds," said Rieger.
Rieger said one of the suspected robbers came into her store wearing a surgical mask shielding his identity asking to buy the necklace with his credit card.
The other was inside the car parked in front of the jewelry store.
"He asked if he could try it around his neck and as soon as he got it around his neck, he raced out of the store," said Rieger.
Rieger said there was nothing she could have done to prevent the robbery.
"It was so quick," said Rieger. "You couldn't even imagine, I've never seen anybody run that fast."
During the robbery, shots were fired.
"There had been some violence at the robbery scene," Sheriff William Snyder said. "It looked like the suspect and the jewelry store owner got into a fight, and at some point, the jewelry store owner discharged the firearm."These are violent serious felons that repeat over and over again. These two were traveling from Palm Beach County."
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Investigators said the suspected robbers, one of whom is a juvenile, drove away from the scene recklessly, crashing into an elderly woman's car.
The getaway car then sped into oncoming traffic on the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart and hit another vehicle.
Snyder said the chase entered St. Lucie County, where the suspected robbers crashed into more cars and got onto Interstate 95.
"They were northbound in the southbound lane over the bridge, they were over median strips, they drove intentionally at a city of Stuart police officer," Snyder said.
Authorities eventually used stop sticks to deflate the tires on the getaway car and stop the men at mile marker 99, which is just south of Kanner Highway.
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Law enforcement officers swarmed the vehicle and took the passenger into custody. The driver bailed out but was captured a short time later.
WPTV has exclusive video of the suspected robbers being booked into the Martin County jail Wednesday afternoon.
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The Martin County Sheriff's Office said no one was seriously hurt in any of the crashes.
"It's a blessing," Snyder said.
Martin County jewelry store heist prompts pursuit, two suspects captured. Multiple active scenes, I95, MCSO. Suspects caused multiple crashes, minor injuries. Sheriff Snyder is on scene. More details to be released shortly. pic.twitter.com/lRxTUcbm5v— MartinCountySheriff (@MartinFLSheriff) August 19, 2020
Deputies are actively looking for the necklace.
Sheriff Snyder said both suspects will face a slew of felony charges.