The surveillance video showed two young men walking into Kay Jewelers in the Target shopping center in Palm Coast the evening of Aug. 11, 2018. Neither was masked or gloved. They walked around the store, looking at the displays, and before long one of them took out a hammer and smashed a display case. The two men grabbed $21,794-worth of jewelry and fled.
One of them had cut himself on the glass. His DNA led to his identification: Tyrone Lamar Walker, 25 at the time. On Saturday, Walked was booked at the Flagler County jail on felony charges of grand theft, criminal mischief and robbery with a weapon, the latter a first-degree felony. He’d just been extradited from jail in Georgia, where he’d spent the past four years.
The second suspect remains at large. Walker had confessed to detectives, even commended them for doing their job, but said it was their job to find the other man, not his to turn him over. The Jeweler’s Security Alliance had identified him as one of the two suspects well before DNA evidence was in. It had done so by matching him with his a Facebook post, where a large spider tattoo on his the right side of his neck matched the description given by Kay employees and images from surveillance video. One of the employees also identified Walker in a photo lineup.Less than two days after the robbery, Walker, who was on probation at the time, had been jailed in Chatham County, Ga., on an unrelated offense. Flagler County Sheriff’s detectives traveled to Chatham County and spoke with Walker, who began by laying to them for almost two hours before finally owning up to the robbery: “Listen, I did that shit,” he told the detectives, according to his charging affidavit. He said he’d never done something like that before but that his life wasn’t going well.
Why Palm Coast? “It don’t be studied, it just be like, it’s just like if you do some shit, if you a criminal in the street and you do this shit, you know what I’m sayin’,” he said, “I mean you look it up. Look it up: Kay Jewelers.” He then told the detectives they had done their job, but that he’d already gotten rid of the jewelry, and that he would not provide information about his associate. They swabbed him for DNA.
Walker had swung the hammer like a baseball bat, again and again hitting the sturdy display case before finally drilling a hole and worming his hand in there to rip out different items. DNA from blood left at the scene matched Walker’s, with essentially no possibility of a double match in the known universe.
There were no customers in the store at the time of the robbery. There were two employees, a 23-year-old woman and a 28-year-old woman, who spent several minutes with the two men, showing them different items, before the men turned hostile. Both employees sustained minor injuries as Walker struggled with one of them to try to get the keys to the display case from her. He eventually used the hammer to open a hole in the glass.
His bond was set at $125,000 in his first court appearance Sunday before County Judge Andrea Totten. His arraignment is on Sept. 12. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted on the three felonies.