Jewelry store hit by afternoon robbery

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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Crime Store owner's son chases down first thief, while second gets away

Shattered glass littered the floor of Timeco jewelry store Thursday minutes after it was targeted in a brazen afternoon robbery.

"Scary stuff," owner John Dwyer told The Telegram as he stood looking over the destruction left in the tiny store on Water Street in downtown St. John's.

An employee of TimeCo Jewellers on Water Street in downtown St. John's speaks to a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer as police were investigating an earlier smash-and-grab theft. Two males entered the store, and used a sock holding a heavy object to

Shattered glass littered the floor of Timeco jewelry store Thursday minutes after it was targeted in a brazen afternoon robbery.

"Scary stuff," owner John Dwyer told The Telegram as he stood looking over the destruction left in the tiny store on Water Street in downtown St. John's.

"It's pretty disturbing."

In the 33 years Dwyer has owned the business, he said, he's never experienced anything like what happened there Thursday.

At about 4 p.m., two men casually walked into the store, smashed both glass display counters and snatched handfuls of jewelry before making a bee line for the door.

The grey and black sock - containing a weighted object - which the thieves used to break the counters, still lay on the floor amidst the mess.

Dwyer wasn't there at the time of the robbery, but got a call shortly afterwards from his son, Frank Dwyer, who was behind the counter when the men came in.

After the thieves ran from the store, Dwyer chased them down Water Street, up McMurdo's Lane, onto George Street and up the steps on Prince Edward Plaza onto Duckworth Street.

Dwyer caught up to one of the men and tackled him to the ground in front of the Majestic Theatre.

The other man got away.

"It was right here," Nicholas Gaudet, a cook at the Majestic, told The Telegram moments after the incident.

Spatters of blood were still on the sidewalk and curb where it happened.

"I heard a commotion, like yelling and screaming," said Gaudet, 30, who was on break with co-workers at the time. "Next thing I know, this guy is being tackled and pinned down. I called the police right away."

Feet away, in the back of a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary car, the 23-year-old arrested at the scene sat handcuffed and leaning across the back seat to avoid The Telegram's camera.

He was taken to the St. John's lockup shortly afterwards.

Frank Dwyer was taken to hospital, suffering from cuts to his hands.

Back at the store, police officers spent a few more hours assessing the damage and collecting evidence.

John Dwyer said Frank was able to recover much of the stolen jewelry from the man he caught, but he hopes police can track down the other man.

The second suspect is described as being 5-foot-5 with short blond hair and patches of facial hair. He was wearing a red or orange puffy jacket.

Police are also looking for a gold-coloured car in relation to the crime.

Anyone with any information in relation to the robbery is asked to contact the RNC at 729-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram, Crime Store, Majestic Theatre RNC Crime Stoppers

Geographic location: Water Street, St. John's, George Street Duckworth Street

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Recent comments

  • concerned
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I was one of the people that helped chase the thieves down. Soon as I saw these guys on Water (seconds before they walk in and smash and grab), I knew they were up to no good, 10, 15 seconds later a great smash and then the race is on! Their Getaway car decides to leave and the two split up. One is caught and thrown to the ground on Duckworth street in front of the majestic and second one shoots up Bate's hill and disappears. . After he was apprehended and before the 8 minutes it took for the CID and then a patrol car, this thief was going on about he was NOT hooked on drugs that they (the other thieves) threatened to hurt his mother. He was told it made no difference and that he should stop struggling, lay face down, shut up and wait for the police. After about 5 minutes he started getting cocky with talk of retribution and that none of us know who he was! I am sure if that there had not been more than 3 or 4 people chasing him down and then either restraining or standing by ready, that he would have fought back. Unlike what we will hear tonight about the police saying not to take matters into their own hands and it is best to let them take what they will, this is fine if youre a mere employee. But if you own the business then I says chase everyone of them down, I say lock the door before they get out, I say they do not give them red cent from the till and if you see something that you can help in, HELP.

  • A Newfie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This is the kind of thing you would expect to see down here. When they catch these thefts they should make an example of them and give them the max with limited availability for parole. Make sure that others like these gentlemen realize that NL is not going to except this type of crime. Nip it in the bid now or it will only get worse!

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Let 'em have it. Idiots like this need to stay out of NL and go to the mainland. Our Government may want to Americanize us, but I have no intention to live in fear.

    Also, good job Mr. Dwyer, I can only hope those cuts on your hand were from them coming in contact with his face.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    To get a message across that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, these thugs should receive the maximum sentence available

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Because there are idiots in Newfoundland that arnen't worth the space that they take up on this planet such as the two in the jewlery store robbery...how does that have anything to do with the government wanting to Americanize the province? There are jerks everywhere!!! American and Canadian!!

  • DeeBee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    It'll get worse before it gets better. I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often, actually. People are hurting and there is little to no police presence on the island, unless they're out getting their monthly quota of speeding tickets. On another note, I'm also surprised some hotshot lawyer is not trying to charge Mr. Dwyer (Frank - the one who chased after the thieves) with assault or unlawful confinement for holding this guy till the police arrived... like they're doing in other parts of Canada.

  • mainlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    Good for Mr Dwyer for chasing down this piece of garbage and making sure he was arrested. Too bad we have a legal system, not a justice system, and the loser will be out again before you know it.

  • Angelica
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Awesome! Go Frank! Very scary situation that turned out okay, thankfully. I wouldn't recommend that vigilante stuff though, cause you never know whose gonna pull a knife or a gun ...

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Look, if you don't have any money and the Christmas countdowns got you 'drove around the bend', you're forced to get a few gifts for the family even if it's cheap jewelry. It's better than nothing on Christmas morning.

  • Gerald
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Christmas times a coming!

  • Frank M
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Congratulations to the younger Mr. Dwyer for having the courage to standup to to these repeat criminals.

    The thief the police caught was convicted for robbery with violence in January 2010 and sentenced to 2 years, but was already out on probation and up to his old ways.

    The Justice system is devoid of the concept of punishment anymore.

    Inmates have no fear of the law, or of swine flu, for that matter as they got vaccines before the elderly and our schoolchildren.

    I truly wish government would really make criminals pay for their crimes.

  • Micky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    If you are presently on probation and commit a crime like this - triple their sentence

  • Moe
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    This is not going to be the last vigilante act from citizens and business owners in St. John's. People need to realize that these little twirps may act all 'gansta', but if confronted they will snivel and cower. I personally don't understand how more of these criminals haven't been beaten and maimed in the process of attempting to commit these deeds.
    DWYER and HIS HELPERS are HEROS!

  • concerned
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I was one of the people that helped chase the thieves down. Soon as I saw these guys on Water (seconds before they walk in and smash and grab), I knew they were up to no good, 10, 15 seconds later a great smash and then the race is on! Their Getaway car decides to leave and the two split up. One is caught and thrown to the ground on Duckworth street in front of the majestic and second one shoots up Bate's hill and disappears. . After he was apprehended and before the 8 minutes it took for the CID and then a patrol car, this thief was going on about he was NOT hooked on drugs that they (the other thieves) threatened to hurt his mother. He was told it made no difference and that he should stop struggling, lay face down, shut up and wait for the police. After about 5 minutes he started getting cocky with talk of retribution and that none of us know who he was! I am sure if that there had not been more than 3 or 4 people chasing him down and then either restraining or standing by ready, that he would have fought back. Unlike what we will hear tonight about the police saying not to take matters into their own hands and it is best to let them take what they will, this is fine if youre a mere employee. But if you own the business then I says chase everyone of them down, I say lock the door before they get out, I say they do not give them red cent from the till and if you see something that you can help in, HELP.

  • A Newfie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    This is the kind of thing you would expect to see down here. When they catch these thefts they should make an example of them and give them the max with limited availability for parole. Make sure that others like these gentlemen realize that NL is not going to except this type of crime. Nip it in the bid now or it will only get worse!

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Let 'em have it. Idiots like this need to stay out of NL and go to the mainland. Our Government may want to Americanize us, but I have no intention to live in fear.

    Also, good job Mr. Dwyer, I can only hope those cuts on your hand were from them coming in contact with his face.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    To get a message across that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated, these thugs should receive the maximum sentence available

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Because there are idiots in Newfoundland that arnen't worth the space that they take up on this planet such as the two in the jewlery store robbery...how does that have anything to do with the government wanting to Americanize the province? There are jerks everywhere!!! American and Canadian!!

  • DeeBee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    It'll get worse before it gets better. I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often, actually. People are hurting and there is little to no police presence on the island, unless they're out getting their monthly quota of speeding tickets. On another note, I'm also surprised some hotshot lawyer is not trying to charge Mr. Dwyer (Frank - the one who chased after the thieves) with assault or unlawful confinement for holding this guy till the police arrived... like they're doing in other parts of Canada.

  • mainlander
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    Good for Mr Dwyer for chasing down this piece of garbage and making sure he was arrested. Too bad we have a legal system, not a justice system, and the loser will be out again before you know it.

  • Angelica
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Awesome! Go Frank! Very scary situation that turned out okay, thankfully. I wouldn't recommend that vigilante stuff though, cause you never know whose gonna pull a knife or a gun ...

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Look, if you don't have any money and the Christmas countdowns got you 'drove around the bend', you're forced to get a few gifts for the family even if it's cheap jewelry. It's better than nothing on Christmas morning.

  • Gerald
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Christmas times a coming!

  • Frank M
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Congratulations to the younger Mr. Dwyer for having the courage to standup to to these repeat criminals.

    The thief the police caught was convicted for robbery with violence in January 2010 and sentenced to 2 years, but was already out on probation and up to his old ways.

    The Justice system is devoid of the concept of punishment anymore.

    Inmates have no fear of the law, or of swine flu, for that matter as they got vaccines before the elderly and our schoolchildren.

    I truly wish government would really make criminals pay for their crimes.

  • Micky
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    If you are presently on probation and commit a crime like this - triple their sentence

  • Moe
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    This is not going to be the last vigilante act from citizens and business owners in St. John's. People need to realize that these little twirps may act all 'gansta', but if confronted they will snivel and cower. I personally don't understand how more of these criminals haven't been beaten and maimed in the process of attempting to commit these deeds.
    DWYER and HIS HELPERS are HEROS!