Man pleads guilty to Coon Rapids jewelry store robbery

A man, accused of robbing Kay Jewelers in Riverdale Village Shopping Center, Coon Rapids, Dec. 30, 2012, has pleaded guilty in Anoka County District Court to a felony first-degree aggravated robbery charge.

Matthew Thomas Kennedy

Matthew Thomas Kennedy

Matthew Thomas Kennedy, 23, Fridley, entered the guilty plea Sept. 30, his scheduled trial date, and will be sentenced Nov. 14. He remains in jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

According to the complaint, a man entered the Kay Jewelers store shortly before 4:30 p.m. Dec. 30, 2012 raising the suspicion of the two employees because he had been at the store the day before looking at a diamond ring worth $15,599.

This time, he asked one of the employees to try the ring on for him, which she did on the left hand while attempting to cover her fingertips with her right hand, but he yanked the ring off her finger and ran out the door.

The employee immediately felt pain in her finger and when she went to the hospital, it was confirmed that it had been broken, according to the complaint.

Surveillance video clips and still photos were obtained of the suspect, not only from Kay Jewelers, but also from an Anoka jewelry store the previous day, Dec. 29, 2012. After photos appeared both on newspaper websites and local television news, several tips were received that identified Kennedy as the robber.

Using several prior county jail booking photos – Kennedy had been arrested multiple times for theft related crimes, according to Cmdr. Paul Sommer, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office – officers determined that the surveillance images appeared to be Kennedy.

In photo line-ups, the two Kay Jewelers employees independently positively identified Kennedy as the man who entered the store and stole the ring off the employee’s finger.

Kennedy was arrested by Coon Rapids Police Jan. 8 after a tip was received that he was at a residence near Classic Bowl, according to Det. Chad Duckson, Coon Rapids Police investigator on the case.

He was taken into custody and jailed after the vehicle in which he was traveling was stopped by police on Coon Rapids Boulevard, Duckson said.

The diamond ring has not been found, according to Duckson.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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