NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) — Nine people have been charged by a federal grand jury for their respective role in a series of violent grocery store robberies in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.
The individuals worked in at least six-person teams and robbed a Food Lion in Chesapeake on September 25, a Food Lion in Virginia Beach on September 29, and a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach on October 3 while armed.
The teams involved an inside and outside lookouts, a getaway driver, and two gunmen. The teams used police scanners to monitor law enforcement activity, according to allegations in the indictment.
The individuals would use encrypted applications and earpieces to communicate with one another during the robberies. The inside-lookout would find and identify the store manager, initiate the robbery, and communicate the position of the manager to masked members of the conspiracy who entered the stores with firearms.
During each robbery, the gunmen demanded the managers open the grocery store safe. In the final robbery at a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach, one of the gunmen shot the store manager.
The indicted individuals and their charges are as follows:
- Devonta Doyle, aka “Vontay”, 22, 3x Robbery; 3x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence; Felon in Possession of a Firearm
- Cato M. Battle, 18, 2x Robbery; 2x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
- Willey E. Brooks, Jr., aka “Wally”, 26, 2x Robbery; 2x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
- Darrius A. Heuser-Whitaker, 19, 2x Robbery; 2x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
- Monica Perkins, 29, Robbery
- Brennan K. Smith, aka “Dub”, 22, Robbery; Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
- Brandon C. Tisdale, aka “Dot, GM”, 20, 3x Robbery; 3x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
- Trevor L. Tisdale, aka “T”, 24, 2x Robbery; 2x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
- Keonte K. Yorkshire, aka “Tae”, 21, 3x Robbery; 3x Using a Firearm During a Crime of Violence
Several of the individuals indicted face a mandatory minimum penalty of 60 years in prison, and a maximum penalty of life in prison, if convicted on all counts.
13news Now interviewed Monica Perkins and Willey E. Brooks, Jr., in July 2018 when 5 children were rescued from a Chesapeake house fire. The children were Monica's, and Willy was her boyfriend at the time. The couple left to get groceries when the fire started.
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