NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- A Norfolk man will spend the next 15 years behind bars for his role in more than a dozen business robberies across Hampton Roads.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said 25-year-old Zakee Hawkins conspired with two others in a series of armed robberies from August 2016 to January 2017. The businesses included convenience stores, cell phone stores, and loan stores.
In each of the robberies, Hawkins and a co-conspirator would enter the business brandishing a firearm and demand the employees hand over all their money. They'd then flee in a getaway vehicle.
After the 15th robbery, one store employee was able to identify Hawkins out of a photo lineup. Hawkins was arrested shortly thereafter, but his two co-conspirators, Brandon Setzer and Jesse Bray, remained at large and allegedly continued their crime spree.
Setzer and Bray were eventually arrested after 16 additional store and gas station robberies.
Investigators say that in total, the suspects conducted 31 armed robberies, with more than 50 employees victims of their crimes.