Police searching for armed cellphone thief

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published July 26, 2013

 Police are looking for the man seen in this surveillance image in connection with a July 16 robbery at T-Mobile.

Police are looking for the man seen in this surveillance image in connection with a July 16 robbery at T-Mobile.

Photo provided

Police are working to track down a man they say got away with smartphones and cash from a local T-Mobile store while terrorizing customers and employees with threats and a gun.

St. Clair Shores Police Detective Sgt. Jay Cohoe said just after 5 p.m. July 16, a man in a black ski mask entered the Nine Mile Road T-Mobile store with two laundry bags, then flashed a stainless steel silver-colored handgun with a wooden grip and ordered all the customers to the ground. Cohoe said the man demanded that one store employee put money into one bag and another employee fill the second bag with iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy cellphones.

Cohoe said the man also threatened that he was infected with AIDS and would shoot them all if the police were called.

“He had nothing to lose if the police showed up,” Cohoe said. “He indicated repeatedly that he didn’t care and would shoot them all if they didn’t comply.”

This man is described as a black male, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 220-230 pounds. The man is 40-50 years old and walks with a noticeable limp. He was last seen wearing a blue hat, a gray or light blue jacket, blue shorts and white tennis shoes.

The man was seen getting into a 2008 or newer burgundy or red Chevrolet Impala or Malibu — or possibly a Dodge Stratus — with a license plate that includes 0M0 or DMD, driven by a white woman with blonde hair. They drove away southbound on Eastlawn.

The man got an undisclosed amount of cash and more than 20 cellphones in the robbery. None of the five customers or two employees was injured.

“We believe that they may have been involved in similar crimes in the Detroit metro area,” Cohoe said.

But police do not believe the theft is connected with two June robberies at the same T-Mobile, where three males are suspected in the thefts.

Cohoe said police are reviewing surveillance video from surrounding businesses and working with T-Mobile security, as well.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP or St. Clair Shores Police at (586) 445-5305. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $6,000 for information leading to an arrest.