Suspects arrested in Upland may be involved in Claremont robbery

by Steven Felschundneff |

Four men arrested by the Upland Police Department last week following an attempted smash-and-grab robbery may be the same individuals who committed a similar crime at a jewelry store in Claremont.
Eerily familiar to the Claremont crime, on December 30, four suspects entered a jewelry store in the 300 block of S. Mountain Avenue in Upland and immediately deployed bear spray toward everyone in the business. However, the owner thwarted the attack by brandishing a legally possessed firearm, according to Upland police.

“Upland PD initiated an investigation to identify and apprehend the suspects. While doing so, they were contacted by Detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Chino Hills Station, who provided invaluable suspect information. Through SBSO’s investigation, they had reason to believe these suspects were also responsible for other recent violent robberies in Claremont and Chino Hills,” Upland police officials reported.

Working in conjunction with the sheriff’s department, a suspect vehicle was located in Upland and several suspects were located in Ontario, including three who may have been involved in the attempted robbery in Upland. A search warrant executed by Upland police at an apartment the city resulted in another suspect being taken into custody.

The suspects were identified as Jonathan Williamson, 36, of Upland, Dalon La Flora, 29, of Los Angeles, Gerald Kay, 30, of Fontana, and Jahaad Crawford, 30, of Pasadena. Crawford was on federal probation and was wanted for an outstanding federal probation warrant, Kay and La Flora were on parole. All suspects were booked at West Valley Detention Center on various felony charges.

The smash-and-grab robbery in Claremont happened on December 14 during the busy Christmas shopping season.

Just before noon on that Tuesday, three suspects entered 4C’s Finecraft Jewelry on Yale Avenue and immediately sprayed employees with a chemical which incapacitated them. The men then used tools to smash display cases and stole numerous pieces of jewelry before fleeing the scene and running north to a waiting getaway vehicle, according to a news release from Claremont police.

Following the Claremont smash-and-grab, members of the city council expressed frustration at the apparent rise in crime across the region and Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Reece asked city staff to organize a meeting with county officials to craft solutions to protect local business and residents from similar crimes.


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