REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) – Police in Redwood City arrested three people suspected in multiple Rolex watch thefts in the Bay Area following a sting operation last week.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, 24-year-old Devante Hunt of East Palo Alto, 25-year-old Darin Meacham of Oakland and 22-year-old Tyrell Riley of San Jose pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including robbery, conspiracy and felony evading.
Prosecutors said police set up a sting on Friday where detectives offered a Rolex watch for sale on Craigslist and arranged a meetup outside a Chase Bank branch. During the meeting, Hunt allegedly grabbed a box containing a $13,000 Rolex from an undercover female officer and ran to a waiting car allegedly driven by Riley.
Officers initially pursued the vehicle, but the chase was called off after two miles due to safety concerns, prosecutors said. Aerial surveillance performed on the suspect vehicle showed they drove to Oakland, where they met with Meacham.
Police said the suspects eventually ended up at a pawn shop in El Sobrante. With the help of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office, police said the suspects were arrested while attempting to exchange the watch for cash. The watch was recovered at the shop.
The suspects are also accused in at least one other Rolex robbery in Redwood City. Prosecutors said on June 27, a 34-year-old victim offering his $9,000 watch for sale on Craigslist arranged a meeting at the Starbucks in Redwood City where the suspects allegedly grabbed the victim’s watch.
Hunt, Meacham and Riley were arraigned on Tuesday and entered not guilty pleas to all charges, according to the DA’s office. A judge set bail for Hunt and Meacham at $25,000, while bail was set at $10,000 for Riley.
Their next court appearance is a preliminary hearing set for August 30.