Jewel heist: Suspect dies; second suspect still on the run - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Jewel heist: Gunman confirmed dead, second suspect still on the run

Eric Roach, 40 Eric Roach, 40
Basil Berry, 33 Basil Berry, 33

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A suspected jewel thief is on the run for a third day after leading police on a wild chase and shootout. Police also confirmed today that the second suspect, captured Tuesday, has died.

Authorities addressed the media in a news conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the status of the manhunt and investigation. They said Eric Roach, 40, of Philadelphia remains at large.

"We have covert operations that are going on in an attempt to identify where he may be, but we are totally dependent on the community to help us in locating this subject," said Henrico Police Chief Douglas Middleton.

Police say, on Tuesday, Roach bailed out of a getaway vehicle on Technology Boulevard in eastern Henrico County. The action followed a violent robbery of a high-end jewelry store in James City County that morning.

Roach's alleged accomplice, identified as Basil Berry, 33, also of Philadelphia, was pronounced dead today at VCU Medical Center, according to Middleton. Authorities say he had been on life support since Tuesday. Police would not comment on whether Berry died from one or more gunshots.

Police say one or both men exchanged gunfire with police before the getaway car eventually crashed on Charles City Road.

"I am fairly certain that Mr. Berry is the primary individual who we believe used the firearm, and we are still working on those issues as they relate to Mr. Roach," Middleton said.

Police have received numerous tips, but said today none have led to a positive identification of Roach's whereabouts.

"We have no specific information that would indicate that he is in that area, but we do not want to leave any stones unturned in this case," Middleton said, adding, "We do believe he is a dangerous person. And we are going to continue our pursuit of him as if he is a dangerous person."

Anyone with information is asked to call Henrico Police at (804) 501-5000.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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