York Twp: White Jewelers robbery shooter found guilty


A New York man who shot the owner of White Jewelers in York Township during a 2012 holdup was found guilty in federal court on Wednesday.

Jesse Brewer, 40, of Jamaica, N.Y., was convicted of interference with commerce by robbery and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime after a jury at the federal courthouse deliberated for two hours during a three-day trial, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Brewer faces up to life in prison for his role in the robbery that left store owner John White with severe injuries when he was shot three times during the July 12, 2012 robbery.

Brewer's two accomplices previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the holdup, according to York Area Regional Police, which investigated the robbery.

The robbery: Brewer and his accomplices, Jamell Smallwood and Timothy Forbes, made off with 53 Rolex watches, valued at more than $500,000, from the store in the St. Charles Way Center, according to the news release.

White was shot in the abdomen, left arm and the shoulder/chest area and survived his wounds. He was 57 years old at the time.

During the robbery, described by police as chaotic, Smallwood was accidentally shot by a fellow robber after walking out of a back room of the store and startling the gunman. The FBI found him being treated for a gunshot wound in New York City's Brooklyn Hospital and he was taken into custody.

Smallwood was previously sentenced to 17 years in prison for his role in the robbery.

Authorities arrested Forbes at his Allentown nearly a year after the robbery. He is awaiting sentencing.

All three men were charged in York County, but they won't stand trial here because of the federal charges, the county's District Attorney's Office had said.

$4M robbery: Forbes was one of five men arrested for the robbery of a Connecticut jewelry store during which $4 million worth of jewelry, watches and diamonds were stolen.

When Forbes was captured, police found $13,100 in cash, authorities said.

Authorities said a group of men wearing masks and gloves broke into an apartment in Meriden, Conn., on April 11, 2013 and bound and gagged four people, including the manager and another employee of a Lenox Jewelry store.

The two employees were placed into the manager's BMW at gunpoint and driven about 40 miles to the store, where they were forced to open the door and to use their access codes to open the safe, authorities said.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.