2008-07-25 / Top Stories

Local Arrested For LI Jewelry Store Heist

By Nicholas Briano

Thanks to the help of a store employee and several witnesses, it took less than two hours for Nassau County police to take down the men who allegedly robbed an Elmont jewelry store at gunpoint last Wednesday.

According to Nassau police, Mike White, 49, of 438 Beach 22 Street and John Washington, 52, of Jamaica, Queens walked into Nicole Diamonds Jewelers at 800 Elmont Road at approximately 12:10 p.m., pretending to be shoppers.

However, once inside the customer empty store, Washington pulled a gun on the employee, announced that it was a robbery, and grabbed trays of rings, bracelets and watches. He then ran out of the store. The thieves were momentarily chased by another store employee and a civilian who were able to tell police in what direction the men were headed and provide them with a license plate number for the 1991 Nissan Sentra.

While Washington reportedly eluded cops by fleeing in the car, the Far Rockaway native, White, who fled on foot, was hunted down and arrested less than a half hour after the robbery in Elmont Park.

Nassau County police arrested Washington later that afternoon near his Jamaica home and placed him under arrest after tracing his license plate number. Both men have been charged with first degree robbery, while Washington has the additional charge of first degree criminal use of a firearm.

Upon further investigation, police also charged Washington in connection with two previous robberies on Long Island.

He was charged with first degree robbery from a July 4 incident in Lynbrook and a June 7 robbery in Bellrose Terrace.

Police have reported that all of the stolen merchandise has been recovered and returned to the store. The defendants were arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead last Thursday.

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