Jewelry Store ‘Smash and Grab’ at Pentagon City Mall

by ARLnow.com February 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm 3,400 47 Comments

'Smash and grab' robbery at the Zales jewelry store in Pentagon City mall

Update at 5:10 p.m. — Police have released surveillance video of the robbery.

A group of men armed with hammers smashed a jewelry store display counter at the Pentagon City mall and fled with handfuls of jewelry.

The robbery took place around 11:00 a.m. at the Zales store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Four younger adult men — described as three black males and one white male — entered the store wearing jeans and black hoodies over their face, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Two of the men smashed the glass counters with hammers and “grabbed as much as they could,” Sternbeck said.

The men then ran to a car in the nearby parking garage, where a getaway driver was waiting. The car — a red Nissan sedan — smashed through a parking gate and drove off, according to Sternbeck. Police have so far been unable to locate the vehicle or the suspects.

All told, the men stole 27 rings, worth approximately $128,000 — just in time for Valentine’s Day. Police are reviewing surveillance footage as part of their investigation.

'Smash and grab' robbery at the Zales jewelry store in Pentagon City mall 'Smash and grab' robbery at the Zales jewelry store in Pentagon City mall

  • GoodOmens

    Wonder if they will get charged with a felony for wearing masks….


    • While we initially heard they were wearing masks, we’ve removed that while police check surveillance footage. For now, we’re just saying that they had hoodies covering their faces.

      • GoodOmens

        Still a felony according to the law:

        “It shall be unlawful for any person over sixteen years of age while wearing any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth”


        • BBMS

          I bet a strong arm robbery of $128,000 worth of jewelry is a higher class felony, so they will probably focus on that if they catch them and charge them.

          But I guess they can tack on other circumstantial crimes. I’m not a lawyer, not sure how that works. Sometimes they just go with the biggest charge and use the rest to consider during sentencing.

          • ChefJ

            Does smash and grab = strong arm?

        • Lionel Hutz

          However it also states unless “(ii) engaged in professions, trades, employment or other activities and wearing protective masks which are deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons;”

          Their trade is thievery and the deemed the masks necessary to keep them physically safe from the confines of jail.

          • BBMS

            Yeah, they wanted to avoid all that glass flying up and injuring their faces. Seems completely reasonable to wear a mask in that situation under the cited law.

          • GoodOmens

            Ha! Sounds about right.

          • ChefJ

            Smash and Grab Robbery FTW!!!

  • meh..

    THAT’S what I’M talkin bout….!!!!

  • FrenchyB

    I bet they nab at least one of these guys within 36 hours.

    • Grace

      Yah they will probably brag to their friends, like everyone who steals iphones in Arlington.

  • arlmom

    That is right next to the Stride Rite store I take my little guys to for shoes.

    That Mall is getting downright scary these days.

    • b0rk

      I’m sorry, the word you are looking for is “vibrant”

  • Ban ’em!

    Ban all Assult Hammers!

    • Stanley Burrell


    • Agreed

      …but only if they’re menacing looking “contractor style” hammers.

  • Tim

    Aren’t there surveillance videos in the garage, where you could see the license plate?

    And if not, isn’t this a few feet from the Pentagon, one of the most monitored and policed areas in the world? I’m surprised someone couldn’t pull the car over.

  • SouthArl

    Like I always say….never trust a mall that is directly above a metro stop (P. City) or a mall that has wall-to-wall carpet (Ballston). Both malls have a high crime rate and both have since the 80’s.

    • CourthouseChris

      Can you imagine what Tyson’s is going to become once the Metro reaches out there.

      • jackson

        “Allow…” Ha!

    • drax

      I’ll bet you really do always say that too.

    • jackson

      What’s the carpet corollary?

      • meh..

        easier to sneak up on your target

    • hmmm

      Because crimes never happen at other malls.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      Not sure if you’re being facetious or not, but the article clearly states that the perpetrators had an automobile as a getaway vehicle, as opposed to taking transit.

      • John Fontain

        Facts be damned!

        • drax

          They’ll just forget it and move on to the next one. No amount of contradictory facts will penetrate their brains.

    • JohnB

      Yes, because they obviously arrived by Metro with their red Nissan sedan in their backpack.

      • BBMS

        Hey, some of the backpacks I have been hit with on Metro felt like they had a small car in them.

        • VA biased

          Did the get away car have DC or MD plates?

  • Hee-Haw

    what does “just in time for Valentine’s Day” have to do with this ? Did they steal the stuff to give it out as Valentines gifts ?

    • Ballston

      I think these types of robberies go up around Valentine’s Day. Three years ago I was inside this same store when a man was looking at engagement rings and suddenly took off with two of them. The employees told police it was around $15k worth of jewlery if I remember. It showed up on the ArlNow crime map, but I never heard if they caught him.

    • drax

      They probably sell it to people to give as Valentines’ gifts.

      Also, they probably know that jewelry stores have extra inventory on hand this time of year.

      • ArLater

        Cmon Drax, I think you are giving their minds way too much credit. No way they thought about all of that…

        • the commercials told them to do it

          The rest of the year they forget jewelry stores have jewelry… but all of the valentines commercials just stuck in their heads and said “man, I bet they have diamonds!”

  • John Fontain

    That’s the power of love.

  • Katharine gagne

    Any surveillance cameras outside, I hope? A license plate photo would make quick work of this case.

    • John Fontain

      unless the car is stolen (often the case).

  • Hank

    In related news, bandits pulled a smash and grab job at Kay’s and stole nearly seventeen dollars worth of charms including the rare “red hot love” bead.

  • internet tourettes

    “27 rings, worth approximately $128,000” the wholesale value is less that on quater of that.

    • De Beers


    • cubic zirconia

      Check me out.

  • TuesdaysChild

    Did they get a gift receipt on the way out the door?

  • LOL

    These comments are hilarious!!!!!

  • Nicole

    They seem to know where the cameras are & keep their heads down. They also target specific jewelry cases. I would bet they’ve been in that store recently, without masks.


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