Two New York City men allegedly robbed a Bethlehem barber of money and jewelry Friday night and as a parting shot – literally – one of them fired a round from a handgun into the shop without hitting the barber, court records say.
Police say the men – Jay Sills, 35, of Harlem and Keith L. Blakely, 34, of East Harlem, were found not long after walking into Jovaughns Barber Shop, 413 Wyandotte St., and robbing owner Robert Jones of $150 in cash and Jones’ gold necklace with a crucifix valued at $100.
Police recovered the Glock semiautomatic handgun and the gold necklace in a basement stairwell where Sills was hiding behind businesses on the 300 block of S. New Street at the South Bethlehem Greenway. He briefly escaped police custody but was caught nearby behind apartments on E. Graham Place.
The criminal complaint does not say if the cash was recovered.
It also does not say what the New York men were doing in Bethlehem, although it says Sills had a 2005 gun possession conviction for a case in Allentown. He is also listed as having a drug possession guilty plea.
Blakely is listed as being on parole for a 2008 conviction for possession of cocaine, but the case’s location is not given.
The complaint, filed by Bethlehem Officer Samuel Elias, tells the following story:
- Jones flagged down police in the area of W. Fourth and Wyandotte streets and told them he was just robbed by two males and one fired a gun into the barber shop.
- Jones said the shorter of the two, later identified as Sills, asked for a haircut and Jones gave him one. As the men were leaving, Jones told Sills he had to pay for the haircut. Sills pulled out a black handgun and said “give it up.” Jones told him to get out.
- Sills then raised the gun and said “the necklace too.” Jones emptied his pockets of about $150 and put it on the counter with his gold necklace. Sills told the other man, later identified as Blakely, to pick up the cash and necklace.
- The men began to leave and Jones walked toward them. Sills raised the gun toward him and fired in his direction. Police later said the bullet went through a bathroom door into a wall of the bathroom in the back of the shop.
- Responding police found the men based on descriptions given out. Sills wore a white T-shirt, a black-hooded sweatshirt and bluejeans. Blakely wore a dark jacket and tan True Religion jeans. They fled east on W. Fourth Street toward Broadway.
- A police officer stopped Blakely going east on W. Third Street. Sills was found in the S. New Street stairwell, where police also located the handgun with the necklace atop it. The items were hidden in a step.
- Blakely told police he was caught by surprise when Sills pulled the gun in the barber shop. “Blakely stated when he picked up the money and necklace he was only doing it on Sills’ order,” Elias wrote in the complaint.
Sills was charged with robbery/fear of serious bodily injuries, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, aggravated assault/deadly weapon, terroristic threats, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, possessing instruments of crime, persons not to possess firearms, firearms without a license and escape.
Blakely was charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
Both were arraigned early Saturday by on-duty District Judge Douglas Schlegel of Wind Gap and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail each.