17 indicted in jewelry shop robberies across 6 states

DETROIT (AP) — Seventeen Detroit-area residents have been indicted in connection with a series of smash-and-grab robberies at jewelry stores in a half-dozen states.

Conspiracy to interfere with commerce charges were announced Friday in Detroit by U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and involved shops in New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Mississippi, Nebraska and Connecticut.

The indictments say sledge hammers were used to bust into Rolex watch display cases during business hours. The stolen watches then were returned to Michigan.

The indictments were filed over the past month and follow investigations of about 40 such robberies last year. About 25 were committed in Michigan between 2012 and 2014.

McQuade says the robberies were committed in different states “in hopes of dividing and conquering witnesses and investigators.”

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