Two people have been charged with robbing a cell phone store of $58,000 worth of merchandise and products in December 2018.
U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch of the Northern Indiana District announced the federal charges of robbery, possession and use of a firearm during a crime of violence against 34-year-old Quran Waterford of Bloomington, Indiana, and 29-year-old Gary McCaleb of Harvey, Illinois.
The charges stem from a robbery on Dec. 13, 2018, at the T-Mobile store at 7601 N. Southtown Crossing.
The criminal complaint said Waterford, McCaleb and an unidentified man went into the store and displayed a gun. One of the men pointed it at an employee’s ribs and demanded that everyone go into a back room.
One employee and two customers were then ordered not to look at the men and had their hands zip-tied, the complaint said.
The robbers ordered another employee to open a safe with cell phones inside and help them pack the items into a garbage bag, according to the complaint. The worker was then forced to get on the ground and her hands were zip tied.
After the men left, she was able to slip out of the zip ties and help the other victims remove their restraints, the complaint said.
The robbers got away, but police were able to follow the suspects with a cellular tracker, the complaint said. Fort Wayne Police officers tracked their vehicle, but as they attempted a traffic stop, the SUV sped away from police. The vehicle eventually pulled over and the two men inside ran.
McCaleb, the driver, was found hiding underneath a table in a nearby yard, according to federal court documents. Another man was discovered hiding under a pile of items in the vehicle. He was identified as Waterford.
McCaleb and Waterford were taken into custody.
Officers found several cell phone boxes in plain view inside the SUV. Investigators later found more evidence from the robbery after serving a search warrant on the vehicle, the complaint said.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Fort Wayne Police Department.
Kirsch said in a news release that the violent and daring nature of the crime warranted a strong investigation.
“Bold robberies such as this commands swift response from law enforcement,” said Kirsch. “I want to commend the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Fort Wayne Police Department for their work in investigating this case. Aggressive prosecution of violent crimes is one of the District’s top priorities.”
If convicted, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.