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Feds Arrest Suspects In Meriden Kidnapping/Fairfield Heist

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BRIDGEPORT – jewelery heistFive people have been charged by federal authorities with involvement in the kidnapping last month of four Meriden residents and robbery of a jewelry store in Fairfield, said a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Two of the five are scheduled to appear about 1 p.m. Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, according to an emailed notice from Thomas Carson. The advisory does not name the defendants.

More information will be available after the appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons, Carson said.

The five were involved in at least one of two related crimes: the kidnapping of a jewelry store manager and another employee and heist at the store, during with more than $4 million worth of jewelry was stolen.

Fairfield police learned about the robbery about 10:50 p.m. April 11, when the store’s manager and another worker called 911. At the same time, Meriden officers were responding to a report of a home invasion at 120 Gravel St. in their city.

Two employees of Lenox Jewelers told Fairfield police that they were taken at gunpoint from an apartment in Meriden by two people they said they didn’t know.

As those two victims — the manager and other employee of the jewelry store — were being held, two acquaintances arrived at the apartment and were grabbed by two other suspects, police said. All four victims were bound and gagged with duct tape.

Blindfolded, the manager and worker were forced into the manager’s car, a 2009 silver BMW with Massachusetts plates, police said. They were driven on Route 15 from Meriden to Fairfield and taken to Exit 44, for Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield police said.

They arrived at Lenox Jewelers, 2379 Black Rock Turnpike, and the employees opened the store for the robbers. The robbers stole more than $4 million in jewelry from the store safe, police said.

The workers told officers they were restrained in the back of the store while the captors left in the BMW.

The stolen BMW was recovered on Mill Plain Road in Fairfield and was examined for evidence with help from the state police Major Crime Squad, Fairfield police said.

Detectives in Meriden and Fairfield also talked to the FBI about the case.

By Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant

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