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Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to role in kidnapping, Fairfield jewelry store robbery

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Video surveillance of the robbery

BRIDGEPORT — A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty to taking part in a kidnapping and a Fairfield jewelry store robbery.

Timothy Forbes, 35, of Allentown, Pa., pleaded guilty Thursday in Bridgeport federal court to federal charges stemming from his role in a violent kidnapping and jewelry store robbery in April 2013.

Officials said about 9:00 p.m. on April 11, 2013, Kasam Hennix, William Davis, Christopher Gay and Jeffrey Houston broke into an apartment on Gravel Street in Meriden, bound four victims with duct tape and covered their heads with pillowcases, towels and jackets. All of the men who broke in were masked and two of them had guns.  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. Prosecutors said Forbes traveled to Fairfield separately, and Gay remained in the Meriden apartment to guard the two other victims.

Prosecutors said after Hennix, Davis and Houston arrived at the Fairfield store, they stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds with a total replacement value of more than $3 million, then fled in the victim’s car, leaving the two victims bound inside the store.  Hennix, Davis and Houston abandoned the victim’s vehicle and got into Forbes’ vehicle, calling Gay in Meriden to tell him they had robbed the store and he should leave the apartment.  Prosecutors said the men then fled the state, but were arrested a month later.

Forbes pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping, one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  He is scheduled to be sentenced in Hartford on April 13. He faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

Hennix, of Easton, Pa., Davis, of Allentown, Pa., Houston, of Allentown, and Gay, of the Bronx, N.Y., also 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 February 8, 2016, Hennix was sentenced to 171 months of imprisonment.  Houston awaits sentencing.

Prosecutors said the defendants 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.

Authorities said Forbes has been involved in at least three other similar jewelry store robberies, including one that occurred in York, Pa., in July 2012.  During that robbery, one of Forbes’ co-defendants shot the owner of the store, permanently disabling him.  Forbes is serving a 14 year sentence for that offense.

 

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