Suspects in jewelry store robbery nabbed

By: Cortney Casey | Online Only | Published November 6, 2012

STERLING HEIGHTS -- Just weeks after posing as customers to rob a local jewelry store, two men were nabbed by police when they tried to do it again.

According to Sterling Heights police, the original incident occurred Oct. 16, when the two subjects entered the Dominic’s Jewelry store on Lakeside Circle, near Lakeside Mall, Oct. 16 and began trying on watches.

After the first man left the store, the second man snatched the $18,000 Rolex watch he’d been examining, pushed the sales associate back, and fled to a vehicle driven by his cohort.

Lt. Luke Riley of the Sterling Heights Police Department said police were able to identify the alleged driver, Warren resident Aundra Lewis, 46, using surveillance footage and information on the getaway car, and obtained a warrant for his arrest for aiding and abetting an unarmed robbery.

Further investigation reportedly revealed that Lewis and his alleged accomplice, Detroit resident Martell Raynard Byrd, 19, had visited multiple other local jewelry stores, asking to look at expensive watches, and had arranged a Nov. 3 appointment with a sales associate at Howard’s Jewelry, on Van Dyke, in Sterling Heights.

Plainclothes officers were outside Howard’s when Byrd and Lewis arrived Nov. 3 and took them into custody without incident for the Dominic’s Jewelry theft.

Riley said it doesn’t appear Byrd or Lewis successfully swiped anything from any other stores in Sterling Heights, though police continue to investigate whether they may have been involved in robberies outside of the jurisdiction.

Both men were arraigned in 41-A District Court Nov. 5 on one count of unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony. Bond was set at $75,000 cash for Lewis — who, according to police, has prior convictions for weapons- and drug-related offenses — and $50,000 cash for Byrd.

Their preliminary exams were set for Nov. 14.