Three men face punishment for $147k jewelry heist at Navy Exchange

One Virginia man has been slapped with 5 months incarceration and two others are facing legal backlash of their own after the trio robbed $147,000 in jewelry from the Norfolk Navy Exchange earlier this year.

Taking place on April 17, Austin Ingles and Brandon Monahan cased the jewelry counter at the front of the Exchange for several hours before coming back at night with a third partner, breaking the front window with a rock and leaving with nearly $150k in jewelry. The suspects had removed the license plates from 20-year-old Ingles’ Volvo XC90 luxury SUV in an attempt to avoid detection. Austin Underwood was driving the vehicle at the time.

Following the burglary, the three drove to Winston-Salem, NC, where they began pawning off the watches and jewelry.

However, their poorly-planned pawn scheme proved the fatal flaw- one pawn shop owner reported the serial number of a stolen Rolex to authorities, listing Ingles as the seller.

Special Assistant US Attorney Alyssa Nichol asked the court to sentence Ingles to a year in jail, with Federal recommendation being at least 10 months.

“The defendant’s actions demonstrate a serious disrespect for the law,” she said. “Nothing in his personal history explains or excuses his decision to break into the Naval Exchange and commit, essentially, a jewel heist.”

However, Defense attorney J. Darren Byers claimed that his client was a youthful offender, a drug addict with no criminal record who was turning his life around. Claiming his client had been taking classes at a community college and attending job interviews, he argued that the court give a sentence of time served.

“He has taken exceptional steps to ensure that he gets his life on track for a successful future,” Byers said.

Ingles was employed at the time of the robbery and had reportedly grown up in a largely stable household.

Ingles was sentenced last week with a little more than five months in jail for the incident, with Monahan set to plead guilty tomorrow on a single count of theft of government property. Underwood is also expected to face federal charges.

According to The Virginian-Pilot, the trio stole seven Rolex watches, 128 pieces of Effy jewelry and 22 other pieces of gold jewelry, with the watches were worth more than $44,000 and the Effy jewelry almost $93,000. Other items obtained tallied to $10,000 in value.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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