After witnessing yesterday’s armed jewelry robbery, Naples jewelry store owner Sandy Thalheimer exchanged the first shot at armed suspects fleeing the scene, according to an initial investigation report from the Naples Police Department.
Gregory M. George, a jewelry salesman, was held up at gunpoint with a “large handgun” as he was opening the trunk of his vehicle outside Thalheimer’s Jewelers at 3200 U.S. 41 North, according to the police report.
George told police that two male suspects wearing hood demanded the contents of his trunk, which included luggage full of jewelry, the report said.
Thalheimer, owner of Thalheimer’s Jewelers, told police he watched the robbery occur. As the suspects attempted to flee in a black Ford Taurus, Thalheimer used his Dodge Ram pickup to ram their vehicle, a black Ford Taurus, the report said.
Thalheimer, owner of a Fort Myers defensive gun school, then got out of his truck and pointed a .38 revolver at the suspects in the Taurus, according to the report.
At first, two suspects got out of the vehicle, Thalheimer told police, and ran across the street to a vehicle awaiting them, a burgundy Chevrolet with Florida tag 145YSV.
A third suspect got out of the Ford and faced Thalheimer with a weapon, the report said.
Thalheimer told deputies he fired a shot at that suspect, who then fled across the street with the others.
According to the report, one of the first suspects to leave the Taurus then fired three shots back at Thalheimer, who returned four more shots at the SUV.
Suspects then fled eastbound on Ridge Road in the SUV, ditched the first SUV and got into another gray SUV.
The suspects got away with three bags of jewelry.
Lt. John Barkley said detectives are still compiling more details in the investigation.