- Associated Press - Friday, August 3, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The leader of a robbery ring that stole $6 million worth of watches from Southern California jewelry stores has been sentenced to 55 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Keith Walton of Los Angeles was sentenced Friday for what a judge called a series of smash-and-grab robberies that “terrified people and traumatized them for the rest of their lives.”

Prosecutors say the ring was responsible for at least 14 daytime robberies or attempted robberies in shopping malls over two years. The robbers fled with Rolexes and other high-end watches.

Authorities say Walton, a reputed gang member, planned the thefts.

He’s one of 19 people convicted of involvement in the robberies.

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