Tapper’s jewelry store robbed at gunpoint

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 23, 2014

 Police responded within minutes to a call from a Tapper’s employee about an armed robbery.

Police responded within minutes to a call from a Tapper’s employee about an armed robbery.

Photo by Cari DeLamielleure-Scott

Police are searching for three armed suspects who robbed Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry at around 5:14 p.m. April 22.

According to West Bloomfield Lt. Curt Lawson, three men entered the store, located at 6337 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield, with semiautomatic handguns and ordered the approximately 10 people in the store to the ground.

Two suspects were described as medium-built black men wearing masks, while the third suspect was a heavyset black man with a full beard.

One suspect forced an employee at gunpoint to open a glass merchandise case, and the items in the case were taken by the suspects. Police did not release the items that were stolen. The suspects then fled the store in a newer model dark-colored Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

Officers responded to the scene within two minutes of getting the call and interviewed witnesses. Jasper, the West Bloomfield Police Department K-9, tracked the suspects into the rear parking lot, where surveillance footage confirmed the suspects fled the scene in the minivan, Lawson said.

No injuries were reported.

An attempted robbery took place in the western part of the state prior to the West Bloomfield robbery, and the suspects and vehicle closely match the description of the suspects in West Bloomfield, according to Lawson. Lawson could not confirm the location of the other incident. West Bloomfield detectives will be working with the unidentified department’s detectives to decipher whether or not the cases are related.

“Our detectives have obtained videotape and picture surveillance of the suspects as well as the vehicle they left in,” Lawson said. “We’ll be working with the Michigan State Police to enhance the video, and we will distribute the video to media outlets and look forward to the public’s assistance in identifying these suspects.”

Within the last approximately 15 years, Lawson said, Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry has been robbed by armed suspects two other times.

A spokesperson for Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry could not be reached for comment.