A gem expert from Florida recently was robbed and seriously injured outside a Buckhead jewelry store that has been previously robbed.
Sept. 5, a gemologist who does not want to be identified, was visiting the Ice Box Diamonds & Watches jewelry store located at 3255 Peachtree Road in Buckhead when he was robbed and assaulted, according to an Atlanta Police Department report.
The same store was robbed in February, when thieves came to the owners’ home in Cobb County, stole their keys and then drove to the business to take a reported $10 million in inventory. In March police announced the arrest of five suspects in the case.
Ice Box is frequently patronized by celebrities including NFL star Cam Newton and the hip hop group Migos, shown in photos posted to its website.
In the Sept. 5 incident, police stated that when an officer arrived, two black males in a black Dodge Charger may have followed employee Mo Jooma and others back from their lunch break, pulling into a parking spot next to Jooma’s car, a white 2017 Bentley Bentayga, and then pulling on its door handle to try to get into the car. A security guard then saw the suspects involved in another incident in the back of the store’s parking lot.
According to police, the Charger’s driver circled the parking lot as he and the other suspect watched the victim get into his vehicle with a large brown leather satchel. The suspect in the passenger seat then got out of the car, snuck up to The victim’s blue 2017 Mazda, opened the rear passenger door and stole the satchel.
The victim then got out of his car and ran to the front of the Charger, and it struck him, forcing him onto the hood of the car. As the Charger swung around the parking lot, it threw the victim from the car, causing him to hit a white Mercedes-Benz parked in the lot. The satchel was also thrown to the ground, landing a few feet from the victim. The suspects drove from the lot but returned two minutes later, when the driver got out of the car and grabbed the satchel before speeding off toward Piedmont Road.
“(The victim) was knocked unconscious, bleeding and suffering multiple lacerations to his arms along with a large puncture wound on the rear of his head,” the report stated. “Pieces of the rear brake light from the white Mercedes were on the ground around (him). (He) had a knife and keys which were thrown onto the ground from the impact.”
The victim was treated and transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, later telling police the satchel contained about $5,000 worth of loose diamonds, $1,200 worth of basketball cards and a Macbook Air laptop computer.
“He’s getting medical treatment,” the victim’s lawyer, Lloyd Hoffspiegel, said. “He has a concussion, a compression fracture in his spine and a stab wound and numerous abrasions. I think it will take at least months (to recover).”
The security guard said the Haverty’s store nearby had video surveillance footage of the two suspects pulling on the Bentley’s door handle. So investigators photographed the scene and dusted both Jooma’s and The victim’s cars for latent fingerprints, removing at least one on each vehicle.
Jooma said his car was broken into Aug. 26 and that upon checking the camera, he noticed it was also a black Dodge Charger that looked identical to the Charger in the Sept. 5 incident.
Police said the suspects have not been caught yet. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta, and a reward may be offered for info leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Information can be submitted anonymously to its tip line at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.stopcrimeatl.com.