UPDATE 2:45 p.m. A group of men took control of the Cartier jewelry and watch store in Chevy Chase this morning before robbing it and leading police on a high-speed chase into D.C, according to Montgomery County Police.
The robbery call came at 11:08 a.m. at the store (5471 Wisconsin Ave.), on a main stretch of Chevy Chase’s high-end shopping district. According to police scanner traffic, the men stole 12 watches worth around $150,000.
Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesperson, said detectives do not want to release information about the merchandise that was stolen.
Starks said one unmasked man gained entry into the store, which has a buzzer at the front door. The first man then held the door open for a number of masked and gloved men who entered the store and quickly took control.
Starks said the suspects did not use a weapon and that the four Cartier employees complied with protocol by abiding by their demands. A security guard was involved in a physical altercation, but Starks said there were no serious injuries. The suspects then smashed a glass case with Cartier merchandise before fleeing in a late-model black Dodge Charger with both Illinois and Virginia plates.
The robbery took less than a minute, Starks said.
The store is along a row of luxury stores with security guards. Some of those guards are police officers and Starks said an off-duty police officer in the area of the robbery assisted in the response.
The suspects went north on Wisconsin Avenue before maneuvering east to Connecticut Avenue. One car was hit in the chase, according to scanner traffic, before the car turned south on Connecticut and entered D.C.
A Montgomery County Police officer chased the robbers into D.C., but per County Police protocol had to stop the pursuit. NBC4 reported that chase led to a police-involved crash in Southeast D.C. Starks said the suspects remain at large, to the best of his knowledge.
About 40 minutes after the Chevy Chase Cartier store robbery, a man walked into the Gap across Wisconsin Avenue and robbed the store. Police are now saying that robbery did not include a weapon.
Officer Janelle Smith, a police spokesperson, said police were called at 11:51 a.m. to the store at 5430 Wisconsin Ave. for the report of a man robbing the store with a six-inch Swiss Army knife. The man then fled toward the Friendship Heights Metro station. Smith said the robberies were unrelated.
Starks, at a press conference later this afternoon, spoke with employees of the store and said it was a simple case of shoplifting.
Across the street from the Gap incident, police were already on the scene of the Cartier robbery. A crew of news cameras was lined up in front of the store as detectives spoke with store employees.
Starks said detectives are now looking at surveillance footage.