Owings Mills Man Admits to Jewelry Store Heist That Included a Home Invasion Robbery, Carjacking, and Kidnapping
BALTIMORE, MD—Grigoriy (Greg) Zilberman, age 24, of Owings Mills, pleaded guilty today to a robbery conspiracy in connection with the robbery of a jewelry store, including a home invasion robbery, and a carjacking and kidnapping.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; and Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.
According to his plea agreement, Zilberman was part of a conspiracy to rob a Pikesville jewelry store. In the course of the conspiracy, Zilberman admitted that he also participated in a home invasion robbery in order to obtain firearms, which were subsequently used in the jewelry store robbery.
Specifically, on July 22, 2012, Zilberman and other conspirators robbed a home in Reisterstown, Maryland. Zilberman was familiar with the layout of the home, having been there as a guest on a number of occasions. Zilberman knew that the residents of the home owned firearms and he had handled and fired some of the weapons. After conducting surveillance of the home for several days prior to the robbery, at 2:30 a.m. on July 22, 2012, Zilberman and his co-conspirators traveled to the home in Reisterstown. Dressed all in black and wearing ski masks and latex gloves, Zilberman and his co-conspirators entered the home through the unlocked garage door. One of the conspirators was armed with a handgun when they entered the residence. Zilberman and two other conspirators grabbed long guns and carried them throughout the home. A resident of the home was asleep when the four robbers entered his bedroom and woke him up, pointing guns at him and shining flashlights in his eyes. One of the robbers beat the resident when he tried to resist and the resident was bound with a belt and a cord. For approximately one hour the robbers ransacked the home looking for firearms and other valuables. After the robbers left, the resident was able to free himself and call police. The resident was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries. Among the items stolen from the house were 10 long guns (rifles and shotguns), a crossbow, a laptop computer and jewelry. Numerous electronic devices including computers and televisions were destroyed during the robbery. The value of the items stolen was approximately $10,000.
According to the plea agreement, in the fall of 2012, a co-conspirator devised a plan to commit an armed robbery of a jewelry store, known to be owned and operated by members of the Russian community of Northwest Baltimore. The co-conspirator recruited Zilberman and others to participate in the robbery. Prior to the robbery, the conspirators gathered intelligence, including conducting surveillance and attaching a GPS device to the car of an employee of the jewelry store in order to learn the employee’s travel routine and habits. Zilberman also exploited his friendship with the employee to obtain information about the operation of the jewelry store and the habits of the employee.
According to his plea agreement, on January 15, Zilberman enticed the employee to visit his home, aware that after the employee left Zilberman’s home, the co-conspirators planned to abduct him at gunpoint to obtain keys and other information from him in order to rob the jewelry store. Early in the morning on January 16, 2013, as the employee was driving from Zilberman’s home, four co-conspirators used a law enforcement-type light bar and a loudspeaker to impersonate a police officer and pull over the employee. Brandishing firearms, the co-conspirators removed the employee from his car, bound and blindfolded the employee, put him into the trunk of his own car, and drove him to a predetermined location. According to the plea agreement, once at the location, Zilberman’s co-conspirators continued to brandish firearms and threatened to kill the employee’s family if he did not comply with their demands or if he reported the incident to police. The employee complied and at approximately 3:52 a.m., two co-conspirators drove the employee’s vehicle from the remote location to the jewelry store, while other co-conspirators stayed with the employee. Additional co-conspirators were stationed near the jewelry store to act as “look-outs.” The two co-conspirators entered the jewelry store and stole jewelry, stones, and watches, valued at about $500,000.
On the evening of January 16, 2013, the employee returned to Zilberman’s home and told him of his abduction and the robbery, including the fact that he and his family were threatened if he reported the incident to the police.
On January 18, 2013, one of the conspirators sold a portion of the stolen jewelry for approximately $29,000 to an FBI informant. On January 19, 2013, the conspirator traveled to Brooklyn, New York to sell some of the jewelry and stones taken during the robbery, receiving over $100,000. On January 21, 2013, the conspirator returned to Maryland and divided the cash proceeds among the members of the conspiracy and others. Zilberman received $5,000 cash for his role in the crimes.
Zilberman faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the robbery conspiracy. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for December 18, 2015.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, Baltimore County Police Department, and Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Budlow and Aaron S. J. Zelinsky, who are prosecuting the case.