Police have arrested three Pennsylvania men on suspicion of multiple robberies of five cell phone stores. The men are accused of planning and carrying out robberies at Verizon Wireless locations within the region for the alleged purpose of stealing cell phones and selling them elsewhere. They now face serious criminal charges, and will have the opportunity to present their responses before a federal court.
Reportedly, the robberies were conducted by holding the store employees at gunpoint. The employees were sometimes bound with rope or duct tape in order to prevent them from leaving the location or stopping the robbery. A firearm of undisclosed type was used in the commission of the robberies, as well as a BB gun.
Authorities estimate that the stolen cell phones were worth approximately $80,000 when resold. Police assert that one of the three men was responsible for all five robberies, while the other two were only involved in some of the cases. All three are facing charges of robbery, while two of the men are also charged with use of a firearm during a violent crime, as well as possession of a firearm by a felon.
As this case proceeds, each of these Pennsylvania men will have a chance to present a defense to a federal court. They all have an interest in avoiding conviction in the matter, as the mandatory sentence for robbery is seven years in prison. In addition, each man faces an advisory sentencing guideline that ranges from 180 months to life in prison, depending on the charges.
Source: nj.com, "Philadelphia trio indicted for alleged cell phone store robberies, including Deptford hit", Alex Young, May 28, 2015