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Fake Wheelchair-User Charged In Stamford Jewelry Store Robbery

Larry Johnson Photo Credit: Stamford Police
Police say Larry Johnson, pictured in wheelchair at left, allegedly jumped up from the wheelchair and ran off with a Rolex watch in a theft last August from a Stamford Mall jewelry store. Stamford Police charged him Thursday. Photo Credit: File

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The man police named as the suspect in a brazen jewelry store robbery in Stamford last summer in which a man bolted up from a wheelchair and stole a $37,500 Rolex watch was arrested Thursday, police said.

Larry Johnson, 35, was arrested at the Kingston, N.Y., Correctional Facility, where he was held on unrelated charges. He was charged with second-degree robbery, first-degree robbery and second-degree assault in the Stamford case. His bond was set at $350,000.

At about 2:30 p.m. Aug. 2, 2014, a man entered the Ross-Simon Jeweler in the Stamford Town Center in a wheelchair, police said. He wheeled up to a display case and tried on one watch, police said after viewing the surveillance tapes and interviewing witnesses.

But the man didn't like the watch and pointed to a second one and put that one on, police said. After examining it, he suddenly jumps out of the wheelchair, police said.

He knocked down a sales clerk and pepper-sprayed a security officer who rushed toward him as he made his escape, police said. The man then fled to the mall's seventh floor and out to the parking garage, where officers believe a getaway car was waiting for him, police said.

Police were able to identify Johnson because he has at least 20 prior convictions and police agencies have numerous photographs of him, Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin said in an interview last September. 

The work of Officer Cory Caserta was crucial to solving the case because he was able to get a fingerprint of Johnson that had been left on one of the wheelchair's wheels, Conklin had said.

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