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Englewood Daily Voice serves Alpine, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs & Tenafly

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Englewood fugitive sought in sledgehammer jewelry store robbery surrenders in Florida

Photo Credit: Courtesy ENGLEWOOD PD
Photo Credit: Courtesy ENGLEWOOD PD

UPDATE: A fugitive ex-con who police said they caught on surveillance video robbing an Englewood jewelry store walked into the lobby of a local Florida police department and turned himself in, saying that he was “tired of running,” authorities said.

Police in the Brevard County town of Cocoa took Barris G. Simpson into custody after confirming the warrant for him for in the April 25 holdup of the B&M Jewelry store on Tenafly Road through the National Crime Information Center system.

Englewood Detective Timothy Torell didn’t said exactly how authorities were able to pressure Simpson into surrendering.

However, he said: “In general, when we are looking for a person who committed such a serious crime, it’s no secret that we often put significant attention and pressure on family members we have good reason to believe have some idea where the fugitive is hiding, persons that may be in a romantic relationship with the fugitive, friends, co-workers, suspected hangouts, etc.

Barris G. Simpson (MUGSHOT: Courtesy ENGLEWOOD PD)

“People who run don’t often think ‘long term’,” he added. “In most cases, trying to stay ‘off the grid’ is extremely stressful and eventually catches up with you.

Simpson remained in the Brevard County Jail pending extradition to New Jersey, where a judge ordered that he be held on $250,000 bail.

Posing as a customer, Simpson entered the Tenafly Road store wearing a hoodie, then pulled a large, heavy tool from his clothing and began smashing display cases, Torell said.

Surveillance video shows him smashing his way out of the locked shop with the same hammer that police said he used to break the display-case glass. He is seen trying to snatch up some of the jewelry he dropped in a desperate attempt to escape after the owner electronically locked the front door.


The bandit then ran back to the case and retrieved the hammer after pulling several times on the door handle.

Torell said Simpson fled through a sewer system with a minimum amount of jewelry after the store owner and a good Samaritan chased him. He also left “a large amount of blood” behind, the captain said.

A citizen flagged down Lt. Kevin Hayes, who summoned backups and joined the chase. The area was quickly flooded with law enforcement, including a K-9 unit from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.

They were searching the Armory Street area when they said they saw Simpson jumping backyard fences and climbing over parked vehicles. Then he dropped into the spillway, they said.

Police tried sealing off the tunnel exits, but Simpson was gone, Torell said.


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