4 wanted in smash-and-grab jewelry store robberies

HOUSTON - Police need help finding four men suspected in several smash-and-grab robberies at jewelry stores and pawn shops in Texas, including some in Houston.

Philemon Lee Denton, 40, Nicholas Bernard Payne, 33, and Desmond Demonte O'Quinn, 18, have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Houston police have not yet identified a fourth man, known to them only as "Roy," who took part in the heists.

"We have some pretty overwhelming evidence to link them to several of the smash-and-grabs here in houston, as well as ones in Texas, just not in city limits," Officer John Beddingfield said.

Investigators said they found out the men were turning the stolen jewelry to three brothers who ran Mosqueda's Jewelry in the 8500 block of Broadway. Esequiel Mosqueda, 37, Hugo Mosqueda, 33, and Julio Cruz Mosqueda, 39, have been arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. They have all confessed to buying stolen merchandise, police said.

Police said some of the stolen jewelry inside Mosquedas Jewelry has been taken from stores in Austin.

Investigators said Denton, Payne, O'Quinn and "Roy" may be involved in 42 robberies and have taken about $2.5 million worth of high-end merchandise.

"We'd like to put this to rest as soon as we possibly can," Officer Frank Quinn said.

Denton, Payne, O'Quinn and "Roy" have not yet been arrested. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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