24 arrests announced in luxury jewelry robbery investigation; Cases include NOLA officer killed at Grotto and League City homicide

Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of property -- including high-end jewelry and watches -- stolen in string of robberies, police said

24 arrests have been made
24 arrests have been made

HOUSTON – Twenty-four people have been arrested and charged with federal and state charges after months-long investigations into a string of robberies -- including the Grotto killings and a homicide in League City, Houston officials announced Monday.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner said during a news conference that the robbers would target people driving luxury vehicles and expensive jewelry in a number of affluent areas throughout Houston, including the Galleria-area and Highland Village. Some of the incidents would end with home invasions where even more property could be taken, police said.

Here are some of the images of items recovered in the investigation, police said Monday.

Images released from HPD on Oct. 4, 2021, concerning a robbery investigation. (Houston Police Department)
Images released from HPD on Oct. 4, 2021, concerning a robbery investigation. (Houston Police Department)
Images released from HPD on Oct. 4, 2021, concerning a robbery investigation. (Houston Police Department)
Images released from HPD on Oct. 4, 2021, concerning a robbery investigation. (Houston Police Department)
Images released from HPD on Oct. 4, 2021, concerning a robbery investigation. (Houston Police Department)

Turner said this is a continuation of the investigation from May in which 10 people were arrested.

HPD Robbery commanders and Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski of the Houston Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also discussed the ongoing investigation following the arrests of people Finner and Turner said have ties to gangs and extremely violent histories.

“We have done great work. These are very violent people,” Finner said. “… A few of them are outstanding. There are still investigations going on.”

Authorities said during the news conference that guns used in these thefts were stolen. One official said a pawn shop was robbed and 24 guns were stolen and she said they were all recovered when suspects were arrested.

Houston police said there was a dayshift crew and a nightshift crew. Of the 24 suspects, 14 remain in jail on state charges. Four defendants remain in jail on federal charges. Two have been charged and have eluded capture. Five suspects have been charged with capital murder. There are 36 state charges on aggravated-related charges, from aggravated robbery to conspiracy. There are seven federal charges. Four people are out on state bonds and seven of these people were out on bond when they committed these crimes, police said.

Police anticipate more charges will be filed as evidence is processed and more people could be linked to these crimes dating back to early 2020.

You can watch a video of the entire news conference with Turner, Finner and other law enforcement officials in the video player below. Included in the video are suspects who are still sought by police. If you have any information, contact Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

Houston officials announced a number of arrests in a string of robberies in recent months across the Houston area.
Houston officials announced a number of arrests in a string of robberies in recent months across the Houston area.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.