Durham County News

Durham man charged in $60,000 smash and grab jewelry heist at Southpoint store

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A Durham man is facing charges after police say he was the one responsible for a wild smash and grab at a Durham jewelry store in December 2018.

Durham police say a man drove a stolen pick-up truck through the front entrance of a Fink's Jewelers located at the Streets at Southpoint during a brazen smash and grab robbery on Dec. 1.

Surveillance video shows a pick-up crash through the glass doors and metal security bars of Fink’s at 5:30 a.m. The driver used the truck as a battering ram to topple several jewelry displays.

He backed up and drove back in a couple of times before getting out of the car to pick up items that fell from the cases.

"He took approximately $60,000 worth of gold and silver jewelry from that location," Durham Police Investigator Thomas Scozzafava said.

The man carried a handful of items to the truck, and then got back behind the wheel to drive into two more display cases. He slipped on some of the broken glass and fell twice.

Less than three minutes after he drove through into the store, he reversed the truck into the hallway and drove away.

Police now say the man responsible for the crime is Taki Jamel Leak, 24.

Leak is charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering (one count to Streets at Southpoint and one to Fink’s Jewelers), one count of injury to personal property, two counts of injury to real property, one count of larceny after breaking and entering, one count of larceny of motor vehicle, one count of possession of stolen vehicle, and one count of possession of a controlled substance on prison/jail property.

Leak was placed in Durham County Jail under a $17,500 bond.

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