D.C. Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Queenstown Jewelry Store - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

D.C. Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Queenstown Jewelry Store

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Roy Lee Tolbert Roy Lee Tolbert
BALTIMORE- Federal prosecutors say a Washington, D.C. man has pleaded guilty to the armed robbery of a jewelry store in Queenstown, Md., in which more than $300,000 worth of diamond rings were stolen.

Roy Lee Tolbert, 43, pleaded guilty on Sept. 18 during a plea hearing. According to the facts agreed to at the hearing, on May 19, 2013, Tolbert entered a diamond store in Queenstown wearing a ball cap, wig, fake beard, sunglasses, an oversized suit jacket, jeans, and dark shoes. Court records show Tolbert went to the back of the store, removed a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at one or more employees of the store, demanding the diamonds that were in the display case. An employee complied with his demands and Tolbert stole approximately 59 engagement-style diamond rings worth an estimated $362,000, placing them into a gray backpack that he was wearing over his stomach, according to court documents.

The robbery was witnessed by an off-duty Maryland State Police sergeant, who provided Tolbert's description to a 9-1-1 operator, then followed Tolbert as he left the store. The state police sergeant saw Tolbert run behind a building to a waiting motorcycle. Court documents show Tolbert removed his disguise and placed it into the backpack, then put on a black and neon motorcycle helmet and a black and neon motorcycle jacket. The state police sergeant continued to follow Tolbert and saw him flee onto a section of Nesbit Road in Grasonville, Md., that is a dead-end street. The state police sergeant blocked the road until uniformed troopers arrived on the scene. They located Tolbert running through a nearby open field. However, prosecutors said Tolbert was able to reach the wood line in the area and escape capture. Found hidden on the property of a nearby home was the motorcycle, the motorcycle helmet and jacket, and the disguise reportedly worn by Tolbert in the robbery.

Investigators recovered Tolbert's DNA from the fake beard and helmet. They said the owner of the motorcycle, which had been reported stolen in 2010, was Tolbert's girlfriend. Prosecutors noted that in July 2013, she had filed a request for a protection order, in which she mentioned that Tolbert had a gun, and further described him in a confrontation “pacing the lot with something silver in his hand”. This matches the description of the weapon used during the robbery, which was a semi-automatic handgun with a silver slide, investigators determined.

Prosecutors noted that Tolbert told another person that he committed the robbery, and showed this individual the diamonds. Tolbert also offered to sell diamonds to a co-worker, court records state.

Tolbert faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for the commercial robbery; and a mandatory minimum of seven years, consecutive to any other sentence, and up to live in prison for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake scheduled sentencing for Dec. 17, 2014 at 9 a.m.

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