Police ready to charge ‘ring’ of robbers

By JAMES MITCHELL

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — Five men were in custody last week and another expected soon as Taylor police said they identified a “ring” of robbers responsible for up to a half-dozen recent robberies that targeted cellular phone stores on Telegraph Road. The same crew is believed responsible for similar robberies in the region, Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said.

“We have six people who have been identified,” Sclabassi said, five were taken into custody last week and are awaiting charges, the sixth remained at large at press time. “The investigation is moving pretty rapidly.”

Last month police responded to several robbery calls that included Verizon Wireless, 9895 Telegraph, where three men entered the store with rifles at about 11:45 a.m.  Feb. 11, and left with cash taken from the business and customers.

Some suspect descriptions matched a similar robbery the previous week, when three men held up T-Mobile, 8237 Telegraph, about 1 p.m. Feb. 4, taking a woman’s purse and other valuables.

Sclabassi said the incidents were similar to others reported last month in the area.

“There have been numerous robberies in the area, throughout metro Detroit,” Sclabassi said.

Taylor investigators worked with other agencies to identify and apprehend the first five of what she believed was a six-man operation, and would provide more details once the final suspect is in custody and charges confirmed with the prosecutor.

Sclabassi said the suspects were not involved in recent robberies of Check ‘n’ Go outlets in Melvindale, Westland and at 9125 Telegraph in Taylor. Westland police last week took three men into custody who are believed responsible for those robberies.

The cell phone store robbers, Sclabassi said, “are not related to the Check ‘n’ Go” hold-ups. Charges for those crimes remained pending..

      (James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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