Arrest Made in Kay Jewelers Armed Robbery - Suspect Linked to Jacksonville Heist

Arrest Made in Kay Jewelers Armed Robbery – Suspect Linked to Jacksonville Heist

Authorities have identified Michael Deon Woulard as a suspect in a jewelry store robbery that occurred several months ago in a different county.

Ocala Police Detective Denise Drake and Jacksonville officials interviewed Woulard last week regarding similar incidents. Woulard reportedly confessed to robbing Kay Jewelers at 2400 NE 49th Terrace, Building 500, stating that he did it for money, according to an arrest affidavit.

U.S. Marshals and Gainesville authorities apprehended Woulard during a traffic stop on Feb. 21, the day after the armed robbery in Ocala.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle he was driving at the time, leading to the discovery of a significant amount of stolen jewelry. Detective Austin Ridge of the Ocala Police Department assisted Detective Drake in the investigation.

While Woulard is linked to the Ocala robbery, local officials do not believe he was involved in two jewelry heists at the Paddock Mall in late January and early February.

Regarding the Ocala robbery:

On February 20, a day before Woulard’s apprehension, Ocala police reported an incident at Kay Jewelers in northeast Ocala. The suspect, believed to be Woulard, donned dark clothing and a face covering, brandishing a firearm.

After directing two employees into the bathroom, the assailant proceeded to break display cases and steal a substantial amount of jewelry. The robber fled the scene, prompting a police response.

As the investigation unfolded, detectives discovered a similar robbery in Duval County. Coordination with Jacksonville authorities revealed commonalities in the crimes and the suspect’s description.

Jacksonville authorities possessed DNA evidence linking Woulard to their case. Consequently, investigators from both jurisdictions collaborated to apprehend Woulard.

A warrant for Woulard’s arrest was issued on February 26, citing charges of robbery, false imprisonment, drug possession, and tampering with evidence. Additionally, there is an outstanding warrant for robbery from Duval County.

In terms of Woulard’s criminal record, a Kay Jewelers representative referred inquiries to the corporate headquarters, which did not respond by the time of publication.

The Ocala store remained closed from February 20 to February 23, with an armed security guard present during a visit by a Star-Banner reporter. The store management did not confirm if security is a consistent presence.

While Woulard lacks a criminal record in Marion County, state records indicate a history of prison sentences since July 2011 for various offenses, including drug trafficking.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, Woulard is designated as a sexual predator with convictions for lewd or lascivious exhibition on a victim younger than 16 in Duval County.