A man accused of stealing $100,000 worth of Rolex watches at a gunpoint from a Main Line jewlery store pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.
Wearing a white fedora hat and gray suit, Joseph Taylor entered Bernie Robbins Jewelers in Villanova on Aug. 15 shortly before 5 p.m. asking to try on watches, investigators said.
Store manager Gad Azuelous asked for ID, but instead Taylor pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at him, police said. Then, Taylor walked behind the counter and, when Azuelous opened the Rolex case, took nine watches and fled the store.
The value of the stolen watches is more than $100,000, according to Azuelous.
Three days later, an anonymous tip led Radnor Township police to a man who matched Taylor's description. The source of that tip told police Taylor had been released from prison about three weeks prior and was in Philadelphia, investigators said.
After a background check, Radnor police passed the information to Philadelphia police, who took Taylor into custody Aug. 24. He was found wearing a tarnished gold bracelet Azuelous recalled from the day of the robbery, police said.
Taylor, however, maintained his innocence on court Thursday. The judge granted him bail.
"Not guilty," Taylor said as he left the courtroom. "The judge gave me bail because I deserve it."
But Taylor will still head to prison because of felony convictions and other charges in different counties.
"It's important for me to be here and make sure that this doesn't happen again, and if it takes him off the streets, then we did our part," Azuelous told NBC10.