A Delaware man has been arrested in connection with a series of jewelry store robberies in New Jersey and is a suspect in similar robberies in other states, authorities said.
Michael Larbi, 22, of Dover was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals last week, according to the Evesham Township Police Department in New Jersey. He was being held at a Delaware prison pending extradition to New Jersey, authorities said.
Evesham police said Larbi stole about $77,000 worth of jewelry from Billig Jewelers in Marlton, New Jersey, on Oct. 28. Larbi reportedly told the staff that he planned to propose to his girlfriend that weekend and was holding three rings valued at $77,420 when he ran from the store and into the black BMW.
Five days later, David Arlen Jewelers in Hainesport, New Jersey, reported that a man stole two rings worth $2,800 and fled in a black BMW.
In a third incident on Nov. 5 in Haddon Heights, Larbi, wearing the same watch and hat that the suspect in the earlier robberies was seen wearing, took a display box of diamonds worth more than $97,000 and fled in a black BMW, according to police.
In a photo posted on his Facebook page on Oct. 21, Larbi is wearing the same black beanie, gold watch and belt buckle that can be seen on surveillance camera footage of the robberies.
Evesham police determined while investigating one of the robberies that similar robberies had occurred at five other jurisdictions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They subsequently learned of three similar thefts in Maryland, with evidence from one of those thefts leading to a break in the cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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A probable-cause statement also refers to a jewelry store holdup in Delaware in March.