Suspect gets out of prison, robs store hours later

A few hours after his release from prison, Rowlett police say a man wasted no time committing his next crime, and that pawn shop robbery didn't go too well.

After nearly three-and-a-half years in prison, 23-year-old Jonathan David Valdez was released from prison. He was convicted of assaulting a public servant, forgery and delivery of a controlled substance. 

Less than nine hours after being released, while he was dressed up in a black suit, he allegedly tried to rip off Classic Jewelry & Pawn in Rowlett. 

“Nonchalantly just looked at our nicer stuff and he came in once, walked out, came back about an hour later and looked at the merchandise again,” said store owner David Buxton.

He asked to see some diamond rings.

The clerk pulled out a tray, and Valdez grabbed it and ran.

But when Valdez made his getaway, he likely didn’t know about the side employee entrance that three employees used as a shortcut to catch up to him. 

“He surrendered the property immediately,” said Det. Cruz Hernandez with the Rowlett Police Department. “He knew that he was outnumbered.”

Det. Hernandez says Valdez jumped into his sister’s waiting car, but she said she was calling police, and Valdez jumped out at a traffic light two blocks away. 

“She thought she was just giving a ride to her brother,” said Hernandez. “She's cooperated with the investigation.  Once she became aware, she notified the police immediately.”

Investigators say Valdez could still be in Rowlett, Garland or Rockwall. 

He’s likely on foot, and police worry he’s prepared to take more stupid risks.

“You could see this as pretty much a desperate act to commit a $59,000 theft, but what if his next bad choice is a mom and child in the parking lot of a supermarket?”

Police say the family hired an attorney to try and get Valdez to surrender this week, but he hasn't. 

He didn’t have a weapon or show one during the theft.

Rowlett police ask that you call police if you see him.