FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Authorities were hunting for a man accused of killing three jewelers during a robbery spree in New York and Connecticut.
Authorities believe Christopher DiMeo (search), 23, chatted up store employees, saying he was looking for an engagement ring, then pulled out a gun and took merchandise worth hundreds of thousands of dollars altogether.
The most recent attack was in Fairfield on Wednesday, when jewelry store owner Timothy Donnelly (search) and his wife Kimberly Ann Donnelly were killed and robbed of an undetermined amount.
DiMeo also is accused of killing Thomas Renison (search) and stealing about $100,000 worth of jewelry on Dec. 21 in Glen Head, N.Y. He is also suspected of two other robberies, in Westbury on Dec. 5 and in Nanuet on Jan. 26. He allegedly stole nearly $200,000 worth of rings.
Authorities narrowed their search to DiMeo Wednesday night, officials said. Ballistics tests matched bullets used in the Fairfield killings to those from the Glen Head shooting, Fairfield Det. Sgt. Gene Palazzolo said.
Police in New Jersey were moving in on an Atlantic City hotel early Friday afternoon, Police Chief Joseph Sambrook said.
"It's extremely active," the chief said. "With the amount of heat that's on this situation, I feel it will be concluded or there will be an apprehension very soon. We have some strong stuff."
A warrant has been issued for DiMeo's arrest on a parole violation, Palazzolo said.
DiMeo was believed to have a pistol and be driving a stolen black 1999 Honda Passport.
In Fairfield, flowers were left in front of the Donnelly store. "Goodbye Tim and Kimberly," was written with a heart on a sidewalk sign nearby.
The couple had been selling jewelry for more than two decades, with a large offering of Celtic items.
"They always talked about one of these days they're going to make it to Ireland," friend Maria Regan said.