Thief in Fairfield jewelry store heist gets 7 years in jail

Thief in Fairfield jewelry store heist gets 7 years in jail

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Armed robbers shown in this surveillance camera image leaving Lenox Jewelers on Black Rock Turnpike with $3.1 million in stolen watches and jewelry on April 11, 2013. Five people have been arrested in the heist. Photo: Fairfield Police Department

Armed robbers shown in this surveillance camera image leaving Lenox Jewelers on Black Rock Turnpike with $3.1 million in stolen watches and jewelry

A man who took part in a $3-million heist of a Fairfield jewelry store in 2013 was sentenced Wednesday to more than seven years behind bars.

Jeffrey Houston, 30, of Allentown, Pa., was the latest sentencing of four men who participated in the April 11, 2013 robbery of Lenox Jewelers on Black Rock Turnpike. A fifth man — Timothy Forbes, also of Allentown — awaits sentencing.

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford sentenced Houston to seven-and-a-half years behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release.

The heist began around 9 p.m., when Houston, Kasam Hennix, William Davis and Christopher Gay, all wearing masks — and two armed with handguns — broke into a Meriden apartment. 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.

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

After Houston, Hennix and Davis arrived at the Fairfield store, they stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds worth more than $3 million.

They then fled in the victim’s car, leaving the two Lenox workers bound inside the store.

Houston, Hennix and Davis abandoned the victim’s vehicle and got into Forbes’s vehicle.

One of the three called Gay to advise him they had successfully carried out the robbery and he should leave the apartment. The defendants then fled out of Connecticut.

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.

The five jewel thieves were were arrested in May 2013.

Houston; Forbes; Hennix, of Easton, Pa.; Davis, of Allentown; and Gay, of the Bronx, N.Y., had all previously 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 Feb. 8, 2016, Hennix was sentenced to 171 months of imprisonment. Forbes is the last thief to be sentenced.

The thieves 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

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