Man charged in January jewelry store robbery

AUSTIN - Police have charged a third person in connection to the January robbery of a southeast Austin jewelry store.

According to an arrest affidavit dated Oct. 1, police believe Robert Wilkins, 19, drove Devante Sims and Lavall Hendricks to the Three Diamonds along the 1900 block of East Oltorf around 2:20 p.m. Jan. 16. KVUE reported from affidavits in January that Sims distracted the owner while Hendricks jumped over the counter and pointed a semi-automatic .380 pistol at three victims, including the owner. Sims then allegedly sprayed the owner in the face with mace before Sins and Hendricks allegedly zip-tied the victims.

Sims and Hendricks allegedly removed $140 in cash from the register and jewelry from the safe. The affidavit states Sims saw police arrive and the two fled through the back door. Officers were able to arrive on scene so quickly because, according to the affidavit, one of the victims believed their activity was suspicious and called their sisters. That person asked their siblings to mute their microphones but listen if the store is robbed. The siblings heard the robbery take place and they called 911.

Police arrested Sims and Hendricks, with officers using a taser on Sims after he allegedly began fighting officers. The affidavit states a pepper spray container was found on Sims, and that both men were in possession of jewelry taken from the store.

After the robbery, the sister of one of the victims arrived at the store, but parked across the street. According to the affidavit, she told police she saw a man sitting in a sedan near the store and staring at Three Diamonds. She got a partial license plate on the sedan and turned it over to police.

The affidavit also states that through information provided by a confidential source, Hendricks felt that he was set up by “Rob” and that he had planned the robbery for two weeks. Police added that the next break in the investigation came in August, when the Travis County Probation Office contacted APD. According to the affidavit, the probation officer told police she was supervising Wilkins on a previous conviction, and that she had received phone calls providing her with information that he was the driver in the robbery case. Information provided to police by the probation office matched the partial plate provided after the robbery, the affidavit said.

Wilkins was arrested in the San Antonio area on a probation violation and transferred to the Travis County Jail on Sept. 26. Online records at the Travis County Jail state he is being held on aggravated robbery and theft charges. Bond has been set at a combined $108,000.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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