“You look it up, Tyrone Lamar Walker, 25, told detectives when they asked him why he chose Kay Jewlers in Palm Coast as a target for his robbery in August. “Look it up,” he said, as if it were self-evident: “Kay Jewelers.”
The robbery took place the evening of Aug. 11. Two black men walked into Kay Jewelers. Two employees were working, a 28-year-old woman and a 23-year-old woman. The assailants got away with $22,000 worth of jewelry.
In less than two weeks, Walker was identified, located in Georgia and confessed, but it was only Wednesday that a Flagler County judge signed his arrest warrant.
“This is another outstanding job by our detectives,”Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Sometimes these cases take a while to solve but we continue to work them using every thread of evidence we have to build the case. We will not rest until his accomplice is also identified and arrested.”
Walker, 25, faces felony charges of grand theft, armed robbery and criminal mischief. Flagler is seeking his extradition from Chatham County, Ga., where he is being held on unrelated charges.
There were no customers in the Kay Jewelers store at Town Center (near Target) at the time of the robbery. The whole robbery was recorded by surveillance cameras. It shows one of the assailants struggling with one of the employees for the keys to a display case. When that failed, one of the robbers took out a hammer and smashed the center-display case, grabbed several gold necklaces before both assailants left with six bracelets. Neither wore gloves or masks. They dropped the hammer in the store.
One of the victims informed a detective that one of the assailants had a very large tattoo of a spider on his neck and acronyms like GSA or GSB on his forearm, and that he spoke with a “southern and raspy” accent. The employee also feared at one point that he was reaching for a gun. Her co-worker provided much the same observations, adding that one of the suspect had a chipped front tooth–all details that prove helpful to investigators.
Surveillance Footrage of the Robbery
The assailants had injured themselves breaking display-case glass and grabbing jewelry, leaving behind blood stains that produced DNA samples.
Less than a week later detectives were informed that the Jewelers’ Security Alliance had possibly identified one of the suspects as Tyrone “Bossie” Walker of Savannah, Ga. The alliance’s investigators had located his Facebook page and indicated a large spider tattoo on the side of his neck. It’s not an uncommon tattoo, but when the sheriff’s detective Nicole Quintieri showed a picture of Walker to one of the store employees, she declared herself extremely confident that it was one of the alleged assailants. But the other employee picked out an uninvolved party when presented with a photo line-up.
The other detective on the case located Walker through his probation officer. Walker was in jail in Chatham County on an unrelated offense. After going through the required judicial procedures, detectives George Hristakopoulos and Joe Costello met with Walker at the jail and presented him with a search warrant for his DNA. Walker had a chipped front tooth, “a southern drawl and a gravelly voice,” Hristakopoulos wrote in his report, “similar to what was described by the victims,” along with a “G.P.S.” tattoo on his forearm.
As all that was going on, Walker told the detectives he wanted to talk to them. So they did. For an hour and 44 minutes though, he allegedly lied about his involvement in the robbery, then confessed to the crime because he said he was “fucked up out here in life,” and had never done anything like that before. But he wouldn’t give up his accomplice. “You got to find out who my mans [sic.] is on your own though, I ain’t gone lie to you about that,” Walker is quoted as saying in his arrest report.
The detective asked him why he targeted Palm Coast. Walker replied: “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’… I mean you look it up. Look it up Kay Jewelers.” Walker then appeared to congratulate the detectives for doing their job and solving the case. He said he’d gotten rid of the jewelry though, and again refused to give up his accomplice.
The DNA evidence tied Walker to the blood found at the jewelry store beyond any reasonable doubt.
Detectives continue to work with the Savannah Police Department to identify the second suspect. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.