MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A man from West St. Paul has been charged with second degree aggravated robbery for robbing several cell phone stores, according to a criminal complaint.
Curtis Wolfe allegedly carried out a string of attempted robberies at electronic stores between October and November, along with another male suspect.
On Oct. 13 a store on Cesar Chavez Street in St. Paul was hit. Then four days later a store on Arcade Street in St. Paul was targeted.
Later, on Nov. 2 two men entered a cell phone store, and Wolfe allegedly demanded two phones. The employee refused to give him the phones, according to the complaint, but he flashed what appeared to be a gun in his pocket, before going behind the counter and taking the devices.
Authorities compared photographs from the Oct. 13 and Nov. 2 incidents and identified Wolfe as one of the suspects in both cases.
Then, on Nov. 21, officers were alerted that a stolen phone had been returned to an EcoATM in West St. Paul.
EcoATMs are machines that pay cash for electronics. They’re equipped with cameras and they verify a person’s identity when used. Officers checked the machine and confirmed that the person who used the EcoATM lives with Wolfe.
An cell phone store employee who was shown a photo lineup of possible suspects also identified Wolfe as the robber with “98% certainty.”
When officers searched Wolfe’s residence on Dec. 12, they located a rose gold iPhone, along with the clothing that the robber was seen wearing in surveillance video.
Wolfe admitted to taking the phone, but claimed that he did not have a gun, and that he’d put his hand into his pocket to imply that he had one, according to a criminal complaint.
He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.