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Four suspects sought in smash-and-grab jewelry and pawn shop heists

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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Authorities are asking for the public's assistance in identifying one suspect and locating three others charged in smash-and-grab jewelry store and pawn shop heists throughout the state of Texas and the Houston area.

Houston police say the three known suspects are identified as Nicholas Bernard Payne, 33 (above far left), Desmond Demonte O'Quinn, 18 (above middle left), and Philemon Lee Denton, 40 (above middle right). Investigators are hoping someone can help identify a fourth suspect, known only as "Roy" (above far right), who took part in the heists. All are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

Surveillance video of the suspects committing a robbery at an Austin pawn shop and then being paid for the stolen jewelry is posted in the video player above. The male known as "Roy" is wearing a large white hat and counting money. His photo is shown at the 3:20 mark of the video.

HPD says undercover operations were conducted and individuals involved in robberies of area Ben Bridge Jewelry stores were identified. The three males with their faces and arms concealed with dark clothing and hoodies used sledge hammers to smash display cases.

According to police, the lengthy investigation revealed the suspects were turning over stolen jewelry to three individuals, all brothers, at Mosquedas Jewelry at 8205 Broadway. Two individuals at that store were arrested and a large amount of assorted jewelry items stolen in Austin were recovered. A third suspect was later taken into custody. Hugo Mosqueda, 33, and Esequiel Mosqueda, 37, and Julio Cruz Mosqueda, 39, are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, posted bonds and are awaiting court appearances.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of suspects Payne, O'Quinn and Denton, or the identity of the fourth suspect, "Roy," is urged to contact the HPD Major Offenders Division at 713-308-3100 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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