Crime & Courts

Algonquin police arrest 2 suspected in smash-and-grab jewelry store robbery

A suspect and his alleged getaway driver have been charged with burglary after police found a bag of stolen jewelry in the trunk of the suspect’s vehicle, according to court records.

James K. Stewart and Ray R. Gary, both of Chicago, were arrested Oct. 4 in connection with a burglary that caused more than $3,500 worth of damage to an Algonquin jewelry store.

Police believe Stewart shattered the glass front door and display cases at Gold and Jewelry Direct, 130 South Main St., then took off in Gary’s car with a bag of stolen merchandise, court records show.

A manager who answered the business’ phone Friday afternoon declined to comment and referred any questions to police.

Stewart and Gary, both 29, each are charged with criminal damage to property, theft of more than $500, burglary and possession of burglary tools. According to two separate criminal complaints, officers found the men in possession of a “window punch” and screwdriver suitable for breaking into a building.

The incident began at 4:41 a.m. Oct. 4, when Algonquin police were called to a possible burglary in progress. The caller reported hearing glass breaking and an alarm sounding near the jewelry business.

As police were on their way to the business, they spotted a blue Chevrolet Cobalt stopped at the intersection of Main and Washington streets in Algonquin.

It was unusual to see a car at such close proximity to the reported burglary that early in the morning, Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Ryan Markham said.

Officers stopped the vehicle in a nearby church parking lot, where the driver, Gary, told police he and Stewart were in the area “to meet up with women,” records show.

The officer noted that Stewart was wearing red athletic shoes – the same pair that a masked suspect on surveillance video appeared to be wearing.

The video also showed the suspect carrying a JanSport backpack as he broke into the business’ front door. Investigators said the same backpack was sitting on the passenger-side floorboard between Stewart’s feet, records show.

Both men were arrested in connection with the burglary, and the vehicle was towed.

A police search of the Chevy Cobalt uncovered a camouflage sack filled with jewelry and display busts in the trunk.

Gary was released from the McHenry County Jail shortly after posting bond Thursday. Stewart remained at the jail on a $30,000 bond Friday.

The McHenry County Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent both men, who are due in court Nov. 1.

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