Serial jewelry store robber faces life in prison

Austin police originally released video of the suspect, now identified as Marvin Lewis, casing out a Ben Bridge Jewelry store on Nov. 5, 2015. (APD)
Austin police originally released video of the suspect, now identified as Marvin Lewis, casing out a Ben Bridge Jewelry store on Nov. 5, 2015. (APD)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 40-year-old man is facing life in federal prison for robbing numerous jewelry stores in Austin and Houston in the span of a year.

The U.S. Department of Justice says a jury found Marvin Lewis, of Austin, guilty in a series of robberies and attempted robberies in Texas in 2014 and 2015 as well as one robbery in Ohio in 2015. Investigators connected Lewis to 13 robberies and attempted robberies, seven of which were jewelry stores in Austin.

Brandon Grubbs (Austin Police Department)
Brandon Grubbs (Austin Police Department)

In November of 2015, Austin police released surveillance video of a man casing the Ben Bridge Jewelers in Austin on Nov. 6, 2015. A few hours after that, police say the same man robbed a Jared’s Jewelry store in south Austin.

Authorities say Lewis also made cash deposits under $10,000 to his bank accounts in order to avoid having to report his transactions. In order to hide his illegal activity, investigators say Lewis purchased a 2010 Porsche Panamera and gambled at a casino in Louisiana.

Federal officials say Lewis also hired 38-year-old Brandon Grubbs to be his accomplice during the attempted robbery of a Ben Bridge Jewelers in Austin on Nov. 6, 2015. Earlier this year, Grubbs pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Lewis, who represented himself in court, is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 13.

List of robberies linked to Lewis:

  • 11.18.14 (theft) – Costco in Katy, TX – diamond ring valued at approximately $24,600;
  • 11.28.14 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Austin – 19 diamonds valued at approximately $176,600;
  • 11.28.14 – C. Kirk Root Designs in Austin – 40 rings valued at approximately $9,700;
  • 12.1.14 – Marc Robinson Jewelers in Austin – 6 Rolex watches valued at approximately $83,000;
  • 1.7.15 – Exotic Diamonds in Houston – 25 pieces of jewelry valued at approximately $346,890;
  • 1.7.15 – Deutsch and Deutsch Jewelers in Houston – attempted robbery;
  • 1.22.15 – Wright Pawn & Jewelry Co. in Houston – 18 watches & 13 rings valued at approx. $219,280;
  • 6.25.15 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Strongsville, OH – 48 diamonds valued at approx. $548,000;
  • 11.5.15 – Tiffany and Co. in Austin – attempted robbery;
  • 11.5.15 – Ben Bridge Jewelers in Austin – attempted robbery;
  • 11.5.15 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Austin – 26 diamonds & 14 rings valued at approx. $196,950;
  • 11.5.15 – Costco in Katy, TX – 10 diamond jewelry items valued at approximately $20,800;
  • 11.5.15 – Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in Houston – attempted robbery;
  • 11.6.15 – Ben Bridge Jewelers in Austin – attempted robbery

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