Crime Stoppers: Suspects accused of attacking employee with chair before stealing iPhones

Crime Stoppers: Suspects accused of attacking employee with chair before stealing iPhones

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It's a crime Milwaukee police say they're seeing more and more: people going into Cricket stores and stealing iPhones. 

And to stop it, they need your help.

Take a look at the photos. They're some of the only pieces of evidence Milwaukee detectives have in order to solve an armed robbery. 

"What we would need from the public is for anybody to take a look at the surveillance photos to see if they recognize anything distinct about the suspects to help give us a clue or at least a starting point of who to look at in this case."

On Oct. 23, 2022, Milwaukee police say two men walked into the Cricket store on 76th and Mill Road. 

MPD Detective Brendan Dolan says at first, everything seemed normal. 

"They pretend that they're going to buy a cellphone. The charade goes on for about a half hour. Then, eventually, one of the suspects grabs a metal chair and starts to attack the employee...it was like a metal Marquette chair, something you would see on floor seats at a basketball game and they pick it up and they start beating him like it's WWE. And they were backing him into the back...and finally he makes the decision like I've got to get myself safe. So, he goes into the bathroom and try and prop the stool in a manner that prevents them from opening the door," said Detective Dolan. 

Then, Dolan says, they grabbed nine iPhones and ran. There were no cameras inside the store and with no forensic evidence left behind, officers are stumped on what they say is a growing crime in Milwaukee.

"Just the level of violence that was used in the middle of the day to try and gain these cellphones and that these cellphones pose a huge problem," Dolan said. "What a lot of people don't understand is when these cellphones are stolen, often times they are taken to Chicago or to parts of Milwaukee where they are sold to a person who is called a 'fence.' A person who buys stolen goods...The cellphone robberies have been really big, and we tend to see a spike around holiday times and whenever a new version of the phone comes out in the general public. These are highly sought after items."

If you know anything about this case, call Milwaukee Crime Stoppers. 

The number is 414-224-TIPS. You can also use the P3 Tips app. Remember, your call or tip submission is always anonymous, and if it leads to an arrest, you get a cash reward.

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