NAPLES, Fla - A major arrest in a two year investigation into a Naples jewelry store robbery. The violent heist took place February 8, 2011 and ended in a gunfight outside Thalheimers on US 41.
The story plays out like a scene from an action movie. The shootout happened right in the middle of the street in broad daylight.
Tonight the owner of the jewelry store gave a first hand account of how he defended his business that February day and how his quick thinking has finally lead to justice.
"Had I sat back as a bystander and watched the whole thing they would have gotten away free and clear," says Sandy Thalheimer, the owner of Thalheimers.
February 8, 2011, Sandy Thalheimer was in the right place at the right time. Watching from his car he saw two masked me rob his jewelry salesman.
"There are gangs of these guys that travel around the country robbing jewelry reps. I knew exactly what was going down," says Thalheimer. "This particular day I was ahead of them on time. I knew they were there, but they didn't know I was there."
As the robbers ran to their getaway car, Thalheimer was watching and waiting. As they tried to leave the parking lot, Thalheimer rammed his white truck right into them.
"I watched all of them climbing out the other doors with guns and I said to myself if I stay in the car, they're going to kill me," Thalheimer recalls.
At that point one of the robbers shot at Thalheimer. Thalheimer fired back sparking a gun fight in the middle of the street.
Within seconds, the crooks took off leaving behind their car and D-N-A evidence.
"All the evidence the police got are a result of what happened then," says Thalheimer.
For nearly two years, police searched for Jose Cabezudo-Gomez and his suspected accomplice Jose Castillo.
Saturday night, officers in Texas pulled Gomez over for speeding and connected him to this violent heist through fingerprints.
"It's resolution," says Thalheimer. "At least now the process has started."
Police are still looking for the second suspect, Jose Castillo.
Gomez remains behind bars in Texas. He will be brought back to Naples to face charges.
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