An Oklahoma City man has been sentenced to 188 months in federal prison for his role in a 2014 jewelry heist in Grapevine that netted robbers $1.7 million in merchandise.
Melvin Lewis Andrews, 55, was one of five people who rushed into Haltom’s Jewelers in Grapevine on Oct. 3, 2014 in a takeover-style holdup, federal agents said.
Andrews had pleaded guilty in August to one count of interference with commerce by robbery.
DNA from clothing discarded after the robbers fled the Grapevine robbery linked four of the suspects to the holdup. Once four of the suspects were arrested, one of the suspects identified the fifth, according to federal court records.
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Andrews’ role in the robbery was smashing display cases with a hammer and taking watches and jewelry, federal agents said.
A federal criminal complaint report gave this account of the holdup:
A woman identified as Kim Lawson-Brown was buzzed in to the Grapevine store during business hours on Oct. 3, 2014, and then stopped as if her shoe was stuck in the door.
At that point, Andrews, Willie Thompson Jr., Garland Gilmore Lenoir III and a suspect identified as T.G. rushed in. Two suspects were armed. Two employees escaped through a back door, one employee hid and another employee moved to a room in the back.
The employee in the back room was forced to the ground by one of the suspects, who held a gun to her head.
The robbers fled with merchandise and drove off in a stolen vehicle. Grapevine police pursued them, but discontinued the chase in the interest of public safety, court records show. Authorities later learned the robbers discarded their outer clothing and were wearing different clothing underneath.
The suspects were later arrested and charged in several other states in jewelry store holdups. T.G. was arrested in Arkansas, Lenoir was taken into custody in Texas in a jewelry store robbery in Denton, and Andrews and Thompson were captured in California.
No information was available on the status of Lenoir, T.G., Thompson and Lawson-Brown in the Grapevine case.