Stolen Jewelry, Watches Recovered; Police Credit Witness in Arrest

July 31st, 2011 by Sam Thrift
JCC-EricRoach-Henrico
Arrested: Eric Roach (Photo courtesy Henrico County Police)

James City County Police have confirmed that all of the merchandise stolen in Tuesday’s armed robbery of the Goodman and Sons jewelry store has been recovered. The robbery led to a police chase and shootout that ended with the death of one suspect and arrest of the other, who’d escaped the initial manhunt.

Henrico County Police arrested Eric Roach, a 40-year-old from Philadelphia, just after 10 p.m. Thursday as he walked along railroad tracks in eastern Henrico County. Roach had bailed from the getaway car on Technology Drive in Henrico during the chase Tuesday afternoon, according to Lt. Eric Owens of the Henrico County Police Department. Roach offered no resistance when police approached him, Owens said.

Roach was arraigned Friday morning in Henrico County and has been charged with two felonies, eluding police and nonviolent possession of a gun. Major Steve Rubino of the James City County Police Department said Roach faces the following local charges: robbery, abduction, use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery, use of a firearm during the commission of an abduction and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Henrico Police said Roach’s next court date in their jurisdiction is set for Sept. 28.

The other suspect, 33-year-old Basil Bilal Berry of Philadelphia, was shot twice when he and the police exchanged fire during the car chase. Police said Berry died of his injuries Thursday morning. Rubino said police were unable to speak to Berry before he died.

Rubino said there was evidence in the car that linked the suspects to the robbery, during which the suspects took watches and jewelry. “We are still in the process of inventorying, but we’re confident we have recovered everything,” he said.

The James City County Police Department allowed Richmond news station NBC12 to videotape the security camera footage by recording the VHS tape playback of the crime, according to Rubino. The tape shows the suspects coming into the store with their guns out and taking the victims, four employees and a maintenance man, to the back of the store. While one suspect placed his gun in his waistband and zip-tied the victims, the other shoveled items from the display cases into his bag.

Prior to being zip-tied one of the five victims pushed the silent alarm. Rubino said after the silent alarm was triggered, it took James City County Police five minutes to get to the jewelry store. As the officers entered the front of the store, the suspects left out the back. A witness outside of the store saw the suspects leave and get into their getaway car.

According to Rubino, without the description of the suspect’s car from the witness, the police would not have been able to find the Berry and Roach.

“That witness gave us a description of the vehicle and that gave us the ability to put out the bulletin,” he said. “Without them saying they left in the Black Yukon, we would have never known.”

James City County immediately sent a bulletin about the robbery and suspects to police departments in the surrounding area, which led a Charles City County deputy in an unmarked car to the suspects. He followed the black SUV until marked police cars were able to assist him in the chase that ended with Berry crashing the SUV into a wooded area in Henrico County, according to Owens.

4 Responses to Stolen Jewelry, Watches Recovered; Police Credit Witness in Arrest

  1. Anonymous

    July 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I find it ironic it was NBC12 who was allowed to view the footage. What was WAVY’s coverage of the story? Did they request to view the footage? Yet another example of how JCC residents are losing the one news station that actually covers our area.

  2. Anonymous

    July 31, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Would the police normally not also line up in the back before entering the front of the store, after the silent alarm was set of? That could have prevented the entire chase.

  3. Anonymous

    July 31, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    We need and would like a station with news that covers this area… for those who remember Hurricane Isabel… as Newport News and Virgina Beach News people were talking about coming out of there homes and seeing the sun… Williamsburg was getting pounded … no NEWS about what Williamsburg was dealing with ! or how to help anyone in this area ! Lucky we had a tv band radio to have some idea of what was going on where :O(

  4. Anonymous

    August 1, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    THE POLICE GO TO THE FRONT DOOR, FROM A SILENT ALARM ALERT, WHILE THE PERPS SLIP OUT OF THE BACK DOOR, UNTOUCHED?
    Is this the plot for a ’40s movie? Who has the responsibility of reprimanding the Lt. in charge and will they? We’re waiting, JCC police dept.! Look at all of that later trouble as a result of this “action”.

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