FAIRFIELD, Conn. — A 35-year-old Pennsylvania man was the last man of five to plead guilty for his involvement in a violent kidnapping and Fairfield jewelry store robbery in April 2013, prosecutors said.
Timothy Forbes, of Allentown, pleaded guilty Thursday in Bridgeport federal court, according to Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut. He could face up to life in prison when sentenced.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at 9 p.m. April 11, 2013, Kasam Hennix, William Davis, Christopher Gay and Jeffrey Houston -- all wearing masks and gloves and two armed with handguns -- broke into an apartment in Meriden.
They bound four victims with duct tape and covered their heads with pillowcases, towels and jackets.
Hennix, Davis and Houston then forced two of the victims into a victim’s vehicle and drove to Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield, where the two victims worked. Forbes traveled to Fairfield in a separate vehicle, and Gay remained in the Meriden apartment to guard the two other victims.
After Hennix, Davis and Houston arrived at the Fairfield store, they stole jewelry, watches and loose diamonds with a total replacement value of more than $3 million. They then fled in the victim’s car, leaving the two victims bound inside the store.
Hennix, Davis and Houston later abandoned the victim’s vehicle and got into Forbes’ vehicle.
One of the defendants called Gay to advise him that they had successfully carried out the robbery and that he should leave the apartment. The defendants then fled the state.
The five were arrested in May 2013.
Investigators determined that Forbes, Houston and Gay had traveled from Pennsylvania to Connecticut on several occasions in the weeks before the robbery to track the victims’ movements between Lenox Jewelers in Fairfield and their home in Meriden.
In addition, Forbes and Gay placed a GPS on one of the victim’s vehicles in an effort to make it easier to track him.
Forbes pleaded guilty to kidnapping, interference with commerce by robbery and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on April 13. He faces a mandatory minimum term of seven years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison.
Hennix, of Easton, Pa., Davis, of Allentown, Houston, of Allentown, and Gay, of the Bronx, N.Y., also pleaded guilty to federal charges.
On April 17, 2015, Davis was sentenced to 176 months in prison; on Jan. 27, 2016, Gay was sentenced to 102 months in prison, and, on Feb. 8, 2016, Hennix was sentenced to 171 months in prison. Houston awaits sentencing.
The defendants have been ordered to pay restitution of more than $3.1 million, and have forfeited gemstones, jewelry, watches, a vehicle and more than $127,000 in cash seized from them at the time of their arrests.
Forbes has been involved in at least three other similar jewelry store robberies, including one in York, Pa., in July 2012. During that robbery, one of Forbes’ co-defendants shot the owner of the store, permanently disabling him. On March 23, 2016, Forbes was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in that robbery.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, Fairfield Police Department and Meriden Police Department.
Assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service and FBI in New York and Pennsylvania; the York, Allentown and Bethlehem Police Departments in Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tracy Lee Dayton and Joseph Vizcarrondo.