A group of "violent" robbers who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cell phones and electronics from a string of Connecticut and Massachusetts AT&T stores in 2021 will face a total of at least 31 years between them in federal prison, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Four people collaborated to enter the stores around closing time, point guns at employees and sometimes pistol whip, shove and drag them while robbing the stores. Another person who worked at AT&T stores helped them plan the robberies, drove the getaway car, and coordinated the sale of the stolen items, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.
Alex Josephs, 23, was the latest to be sentenced for his involvement in the conspiracy, and received 10 years. Shaquille Raymond was previously sentenced to six years and Deshawn Baugh was sentenced to nine years. Ronaldo Smith hasn't been sentenced yet. Saviana Bourne, the AT&T employee, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years. They all pleaded guilty.
The group of robbers was also ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution.
All five were arrested on June 6, 2021 after they robbed a store in West Springfield, Massachusetts, about 10 miles from the Connecticut border. Police followed their car in a high-speed chase until they crashed with several police cruisers, the West Springfield Police Department said at the time. A semi-automatic rifle, two revolvers and a semi-automatic pistol used to rob the store and over $150,000 in stolen merchandise from the store were recovered from the car.
The group also robbed Connecticut AT&T stores in Newington, Enfield and Canton, and attempted to rob stores in Torrington and Glastonbury, but they weren't able to enter because the stores were locked, prosecutors said.
The Newington Police Department said the day of the robbery at AT&T there that the robbers wore face masks, all-black clothing and carried handguns when they "forced entry into the store and pistol whipped two store employees." One of the employees was taken to a hospital for treatment but neither had life-threatening injuries, police said.
They are all residents of Connecticut, and Josephs and Raymond are Jamaican citizens who will face immigration proceedings after serving their sentences, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Violent' cell phone thieves stole a fortune, sentenced in AT&T robberies