Suspects in Charleston jewelry store heist indicted on federal charges

Three men accused of stealing Rolex watches valued at $700,000 from a King Street jeweler have been indicted on federal charges, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles’ office announced Thursday.

An FBI probe resulted in charges of conspiracy, robbery and possession of a firearm against the men, identified as Aquabeus Moore, 34, of Creekside Lane in Riverdale, Ga.; Charles Eloys Johnson, 35, of San Leandro, Calif.; and Jerry Harbin, 29, of Antioch, Calif, a news release stated.

The charges stem from a March 4 heist at Demetre Jewelers in Charleston and a similar robbery Feb. 19 at Sylvan Jewelers in Columbia.

Peter Demetre, the Charleston store’s owner, was in the back of the business when he heard someone come inside, according to an incident report from Charleston police.

He walked toward the front to see two men in masks. One of them held a gun on him while the other broke a display case with a hammer and stole 60 Rolex watches, the owner reported.

The conspiracy and robbery charges carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison, the release said. The weapons charge carries a mandatory five-year sentence.

The Charleston and Columbia police departments assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan Williams will prosecute the case.

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