A 20-year-old Beaumont man pleaded guilty to helping rob a Rosenberg jewelry store last October.
Anthony Deshone Smith was sentenced to 10 years probation in connection with the Oct. 8 smash and grab robbery of the Kay Jewelry store at Brazos Town Center.
The thieves made off with $304,583.70 worth of jewelry before Rosenberg police officers caught up with them in Stafford.
Smith was initially charged with a aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony offense punishable by life in prison. However, under a plea agreement, he agreed to plea guilty to second-degree robbery.
Associate District Court Judge Donald Bankston also ordered Smith to pay a $1,000 fine, court costs, perform 300 hours of community service and submit to other numerous other conditions of probation.
If Smith fails to abide by the terms of his probation, he could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Another man and a juvenile male, along with a woman suspected of being the getaway driver, have yet to face judgment.
According to police, the three robbers entered the jewelry store around 4:30 p.m. and used sledge hammers to break glass display cases holding the jewelry.
One store employee said she kept her eyes closed because she feared the robbers would harm her or kill her if they thought she could identify them, according to a police report.
After snatching handfuls of rings, necklaces, earrings and other expensive jewelry, the trio dashed outside to a waiting vehicle, which store employees and customers were able to identify as a silver Nissan Sentra with dark tinted windows.
Rosenberg police caught up with the robbers’ vehicle at the Stafford city limits on U.S. 59 after a high-speed chase through Sugar Land when the small sedan got caught in traffic.
The three robbers bailed out of the stranded automobile, leaving the driver to face police alone.
The driver later identified the two robbers who remained at large, according to police.
One of the robbers was caught immediately and officers later found the stolen jewelry in backpack left in some nearby bushes.
One of them worked with her at a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Beaumont, she told police.
Investigators said the woman’s cell phone had a map application open with a route to a final destination in Houston.
Detectives also said jewelry display cases were found in the vehicle, as well as jewelry, and a backpack belonging to a Beaumont ISD student, believed to be the juvenile suspect.
After accounting for the breaking of the display cases, the robbers were responsible for $316,899.63 in stolen jewelry and damages.
Sugar Land and Stafford police, along with Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputies aided in the chase and subsequent manhunt.