Police investigating possible robbery connection in DC and Va. - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Police investigating possible connection between Va. jewelry store murder and DC armed robbery

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Surveillance image of a suspect in an armed robbery at a Northwest D.C. jewelry store on June 9, 2012 Surveillance image of a suspect in an armed robbery at a Northwest D.C. jewelry store on June 9, 2012
Surveillance image of a suspect in an armed robbery at a Northwest D.C. jewelry store on June 9, 2012 Surveillance image of a suspect in an armed robbery at a Northwest D.C. jewelry store on June 9, 2012
Tommy Wong Tommy Wong
Surveillance image of a suspect in the fatal armed robbery of Tommy Wong, who was killed at his store in Arlington, Va. Surveillance image of a suspect in the fatal armed robbery of Tommy Wong, who was killed at his store in Arlington, Va.
Surveillance image of a suspect in the fatal armed robbery of Tommy Wong, who was killed at his store in Arlington, Va. Surveillance image of a suspect in the fatal armed robbery of Tommy Wong, who was killed at his store in Arlington, Va.
WASHINGTON -

D.C. Police say they are working with Arlington County Police in the murder investigation of a slain Arlington jewelry store owner.

Both departments are investigating the possibility that the Arlington murder may be connected to an armed robbery at a jewelry store in Northwest D.C. on June 9.

Arlington County Police say 52-year-old Tommy Wong was murdered at his store in the 3200 block of Columbia Pike last Friday at around 4 p.m. Surveillance video showed the suspect wearing a neon-colored safety vest entering the store around the time of the murder.

FOX 5 has received surveillance video of the D.C. robbery that occurred on June 9 at Bensons Jewelers on F Street. The owner of the store, Ken Stein, says a man wearing a reflective vest walked into his store, asked to see engagement rings, and when the owner turned his back, the man pulled out a large gun and demanded jewelry. 

The suspect did not shoot the owner, but got away with thousands of dollars in items, mostly diamond rings.

A spokesperson for D.C. Police tell FOX 5, "We are aware of the similarities and we are working cooperatively with Arlington County police in the investigation of both cases."

We have asked D.C. Police why the video of the June 9th robbery was not released to the media to get the word out. Police responded:

"The images we had were posted on MPD temperature boards, shared with other law enforcement agencies, and were disseminated to MPD members. They were not publicly disseminated. In every case we make a call as to whether or not an image should be released publicly. In this case, we released internally. There were no injuries to the victim in the DC robbery. As soon as we saw the Arlington suspect, we contacted Arlington with the information we had. MPD and Arlington investigators have shared notes and are working cooperatively to bring this case to closure."

Desmond Wong, the son of the slain store owner, tells FOX 5 he believes if D.C. Police had released the video of the D.C. armed robbery to the media, his father would have likely heard about it or seen it and he may have been more cautious.

A customer of Tommy Wong's store says he would "buzz" customers to allow them to get inside his Arlington store, and now Wong's family are left wondering if the tragedy could have been avoided.

Stein says he emailed his surveillance video to Arlington County Police over the weekend after watching television coverage over the weekend of the Arlington killing. Detectives contacted him and interviewed him Monday morning. He says they were not aware of the D.C. case until he contacted them.

Arlington County Police have confirmed they are looking a possible connection to the D.C. robbery and tips have come in.

The suspect is described as a black male, in his 50s, about 5'7" tall with a medium build.

Anyone with information concerning this incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Richard Conigliaro at 703-228-4193 or investigations@arlingtonva.us.


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