Minors charged in jewelry store robbery will be tried as adults

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ST. THOMAS - Two minors arrested in connection with the armed robbery of Imperial Jewelry store on Main Street in March have now been bound over as adults in the court system, according to court records obtained Friday.

Carlos Ingels, 17, of Kronprindsens Gade, and Jahleel Warner, 18, of Garden Street, were arrested on a warrant issued July 29, according to their records in V.I. Superior Court.

Police said Ingels was the mastermind behind the robbery that involved Warner and four other men, according to court documents.

Ingels and Warner are facing charges of first-degree robbery; first-degree assault; third-degree assault; grand larceny; conspiracy; possession of stolen property; possession of an unlicensed firearm; and four counts of possession of an unlicensed firearm during a crime of violence.

Ingels and Warner were arrested alongside four other young men, all of whom went to trial in late July in District Court.

A federal jury found Shaquim Fredericks, 19; Warkim Gabriel, 18; Alvin Thomas, 19; and Chefton Newton, 26, all of St. Thomas, guilty July 23 of interference with commerce by robbery; conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery; and conspiracy to use a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Fredericks, Gabriel, Thomas and Newton initially faced the same charges as Ingels and Warner in V.I. Superior Court, but their cases were transferred to District Court under federal charges.

Authorities have not said whether they will motion to have Ingels and Warner's cases transferred as well.

Fredericks, Gabriel, Thomas and Newton await sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 4, and Ingels and Warner are scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 28.

On Friday, Magistrate Carolyn Hermon-Percell stated during the two defendants' advice-of-rights hearing that the government could have a strong case based on the evidence presented in the affidavit.

According to V.I. Police, Ingels, though the youngest of the defendants, was the mastermind behind the daytime armed robbery on March 15.

Seven armed masked men entered the Imperial Jewelers store dressed in all black and wearing black masks, police said.

According to police, surveillance video showed the robbers pointing their weapons at the employees, who were the only ones in the store after several customers fled when the robbers entered.

The robbers busted out the glass displays and took between $1 million and $2 million in jewelry merchandise then ran out the door toward Fireburn Hill, where police captured the six suspects.

Authorities have not stated whether they have a person of interest in regard to the seventh suspect.

When police apprehended the suspects, one officer found Warner in the bushes in the Catherineburg area without shoes "in a disheveled condition, under a sweat, and in possession of expensive jewelry after being pursued," according to the affidavit filed in support of his arrest.

A patdown of Warner revealed that he had two rings in his pockets, one valued at $706,860 and the other at $392,700, according to police.

Police said they also found a backpack belonging to Warner that contained more jewelry along with a homework assignment and a math test with Warner's name on it and dated in early March.

When another officer came to the other's assistance to help with Warner, the second officer saw movement in the bushes and found Ingels hiding under sheets of galvanized metal with only one shoe on, police said.

Detectives found a matching shoe in the nearby area as well as masks, firearms and more jewelry, according to the affidavit.

Percell set the bail at $100,000 each for Ingels and Warner.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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