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Crime

Convicted jewelry store robber charged in 2009 killing of Baltimore jeweler

A 26-year-old Pikesville man recently convicted for his role in an elaborate armed robbery of a Baltimore County jewelry store has been indicted in the 2009 killing of a Northwest Baltimore jewelry store owner, federal prosecutors announced.

Stanislav "Steven" Yelizarov was sentenced to 30 years in prison in April for taking part in the 2013 robbery of an Owings Mills jewelry store that netted $500,000 in jewelry, stones and watches. In that case, the robbers staked out an employee of Antony Jewelers, then impersonated police and kidnapped him as they carried out the crime.

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Now, authorities allege, Yelizarov has been linked to the December 2009 killing of 56-year-old Wayne Ruder, who was found shot inside his jewelry store, The Ruder and Company Jewelry and Antiques, in the 6900 block of Reisterstown Road. He had owned the store for 20 years.

At the time, police said there was no sign of forced entry at Ruder's store. Court documents do not shed light on how Yelizarov was connected to the crime.

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"The charge arose out of an earlier investigation … it's a result of an intensive federal investigation that included the earlier prosecution, and generated additional leads," said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who said he was limited in what he could discuss about the ongoing case.

Ruder's brother Fred, reached by phone in Florida, said Yelizarov was an acquaintance of Wayne Ruder and that they had heard rumors of his involvement for years. In recent months, the FBI had contacted relatives about the case.

"I'm really glad" about the arrest, Fred Ruder said. "We knew that who's did it."

Court records show Yelizarov was out on bail for an unrelated armed robbery charge at the time of Ruder's killing. He was charged in Baltimore County with armed robbery in August 2009 and posted $75,000 bail. Ruder was killed four months later.

Yelizarov's attorney from the previous federal case, Robert Henry Waldman, declined to comment on the new charges.

Yelizarov was one of seven people indicted in May 2015 in connection with the conspiracy to rob Antony Jewelers two years earlier. Court documents outline a daring scheme devised by Yelizarov, who recruited others to participate and split the proceeds.

The plot started with the 2012 home invasion of a residence on Nicodemus Road in a rural area of Reisterstown. Co-conspirator Grigory Zilberman had been in the home as a guest, and became familiar with the layout and the fact that the residents owned numerous weapons, according to court records.

Yelizarov and Zilberman were part of a group who dressed in all black, donned ski masks and latex gloves and entered the home through a garage door. They tied up an occupant of the home with a belt and a cord, while the men ransacked the home. They made off with 10 rifles and shotguns, a crossbow, a laptop and jewelry, according to court documents.

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Yelizarov committed another burglary in 2012, taking a shotgun and handgun — the latter which would be used to rob Antony Jewelers.

In the fall of 2012, Yelizarov hatched the plan to rob Antony Jewelers, and recruited others to participate, records show.

Zilberman was friends with an employee of the store, and exploited the relationship to learn about his habits and routine, according to court records. Yelizarov also stuck a GPS device on the employee's car.

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On Jan. 15, 2013, Zilberman invited the employee to his home and notified the rest of the group when he left. They donned masks and gloves, and outfitted a rented vehicle with a police-style light bar and loudspeaker.

As the employee left, they activated the light bar and pulled him over. At gunpoint, they placed a bag over his head and threw him in the trunk of his car. Using disguised voices, they ordered him to comply with their demands or they would kill his family, according to court records.

Yelizarov and another member of the conspiracy, Aleksey Sosonko drove the employee's vehicle to the store while the others held the employee at a remote location. Yelizarov and Sosonko entered the store at 4:19 a.m. and stole jewelry, stones and watches, but were unable to get into a locked safe.

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Three days later Yelizarov sold a portion of the jewelry to an FBI informant for $29,000, and sold some of the other items for $100,000 in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was arrested on Jan. 25 in Buffalo on a bad passport.

Yelizarov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to affect commerce by robbery, kidnapping, and using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. He was sentenced to 360 months and ordered to pay restitution of $500,000.

He is the only member of the 2013 conspiracy charged in connection with Ruder's death.

jfenton@baltsun.com


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