Six men behind bars after hitting several cell phone stores while armed

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 18:25:38-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Six men are behind bars and facing a long list of charges.

Police say Derek Granger, John Rutledge, Timothy Hill, Kevin Farmer, Ja'Kual Ward and Rodriquez Nixon robbed five cell phone stores from Norfolk to Virginia Beach.

It happened over the course of two months with the first happening in November. Employees were zip tied while the men took cell phones, iPads and apple watches.

New court documents show that in each of the robberies, the suspects had guns, forced employees to the back of the store and stole thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Surveillance from the businesses recorded the men as they collected the phones in trash bags. It also recorded the getaway cars the suspects left in.

Court records say police were able to scan the license plates captured in surveillance in their database. From there, they tracked down the drivers and took them into custody.

Recently unsealed court papers reveal the men used their phones before, during, and after the robberies. Police issued search warrants on those devices and were able to find evidence that linked more suspects to the crime.

The remaining men were taken into custody and are being held in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach.

Police say the men robbed the following cell phone stores:

  • Sprint Store, 2000 Colonial Avenue, Norfolk on 11/12/18
  • Sprint Store, 2704 North Mall Drive, Virginia Beach on 11/23/18
  • T-Mobile store, 4214 Indian River Road, Chesapeake on 12/05/18
  • Sprint store, 1710 East Little Creek Road, Norfolk on 12/09/18
  • T-Mobile store, 1721 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach on 12/14/18

The men face charges including robbery, abduction by force and intimidation, obtaining money under false pretenses, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and conspiracy.