2 Fort Worth men arrested in Zales robberies

Posted Friday, Oct. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
Missing jewelry Anyone with information about the Zales robberies or the location of the jewelry is asked to call Fort Worth robbery detectives at 817-392-4375 or Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.

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The suspects in recent holdups of two area Zales stores evidently are generous guys, Fort Worth police said Friday.

Aaron Tafoya and Joel Gaucin sold some of the stolen jewelry and tried to pawn some, robbery Detective Brian Raynsford said at a news conference.

But they also gave some away.

Police are asking the recipients to return the jewelry. They won’t be charged with a crime, Raynsford said.

“We just want to get the jewelry back to its rightful owners,” Raynsford said.

Included are rings, bracelets, watches and necklaces, he said.

The robberies occurred July 10 in Arlington and Sept. 27 in Fort Worth.

In Fort Worth, the robber, wearing an Atlanta Braves ball cap, entered the Zales Outlet in the Chapel Hill shopping center at 4701 West Freeway about 11 a.m. He pulled out a pistol and demanded jewelry.

He got away with a “substantial amount,” police said in a news release.

The Arlington store, at The Parks mall at 4101 S. Cooper St., was robbed about 10 a.m., Arlington police have said.

This week, after police appealed for help finding the robbers and posted store surveillance video, they received numerous tips, Raynsford said.

Gaucin was identified as the armed robber, and Tafoya is accused of driving the getaway vehicle, Raynsford said.

Officers who were looking for them in north Fort Worth spotted Tafoya about 7 p.m. Wednesday riding a bicycle southbound across the 1900 block of Ephriham Avenue “in a place other than a designated crosswalk,” according to a police report. Tafoya was impeding traffic and causing multiple cars to stop, and he was arrested, the report said.

Gaucin was arrested Thursday in the 3100 block of Grover Avenue, police reported.

Tafoya and Gaucin, both 18 and Fort Worth residents, were in the Mansfield Jail on Friday night. Each faces two charges of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and charges of evading arrest.

Tafoya’s bail totals $52,500. Bail for Gaucin had not been set late Friday, jail records show.

Police recovered some of the jewelry while executing search warrants, Raynsford said. The gun has not been recovered, he said.

“Both these robberies occurred in a shopping center in broad daylight,” Raynsford said. “They were armed and they were not concerned about pointing guns at people.”

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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