Originally created 05/11/02

Police seek 3 in area holdup



Three men carrying guns and handcuffs robbed a North Augusta Kay Jeweler's store Friday morning, taking an undetermined amount of cash and jewels.

The robbery was reported at 10:30 a.m. at the Edgewood Square shopping center store on Edgewood Drive. The robbers carried handguns and were described as being black and in their 20s, said Lt. Tim Pearson, of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety.

"The main thing is, they are armed and should be considered dangerous," he said.

Anthony Jones, the husband of a store employee, said the men used handcuffs on those inside the store - two of whom were employees. He said they demanded the video surveillance tape.

"They had to have scoped this out," Mr. Jones said.

A witness said the men pointed guns at employees and told them to open their jewel cases and hand over the diamonds.

The jewelry store is surrounded by several other stores, including Wal-Mart and Goody's. No workers in those stores said they saw anything suspicious, but Lt. Pearson said it was believed that the men left on foot.

By noon, police had blocked the entrance of the store with two Mother's Day sale signs and were turning customers away.

Police also investigated a suspicious car in the parking lot in front of the business. Lt. Pearson said his department was investigating the possibility that the robbers could have left some of the merchandise in the car - a blue Cadillac that had bags on its back seat and a Troup County, Ga., tag.

"We'll be using every resource available to try and get to the bottom of this," he said.

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904.