Suspects charged in cellphone store robberies

Cleveland Police (WTAM)

(Cuyahoga County) - Two Cleveland men were charged in federal court for brandishing firearms while robbing four MetroPCS stores and shooting at an off-duty Cleveland police officer.

Shawn Ford, 19, and Charles Rogers, 23, were each charged with Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing firearms during a crime of violence. The investigation is ongoing.

Ford and Rogers are accused of robbing the MetroPCS story at 10959 Kinsman Road on March 21, at 11100 Lorain Ave. on March 25, at 14701 Kinsman Road on March 27 and at 5853 Broadway Ave., also on March 25.

Investigators say Ford and Rogers fled from the store on Broadway after taking more than $1,000 from the register. An off-duty Cleveland police officer, who was a customer in the store, followed them out of the store. He identified himself as a police officer and ordered them to stop. One of the suspects began shooting at the officer and 15 spent 9 mm shell casings were recovered nearby, according to court documents.

About 30 minutes later, an officer saw a vehicle that matched the description of the car the suspects got into after shooting at the officer. The car was pulled over with Ford and Rogers inside. Inside the car was a spent 9 mm round, blue latex gloves and clothing that matched clothing worn by suspects in other MetroPCS robberies, according to court documents.

Police contend, Rogers was wearing an electronic monitoring device with GPS capabilities on March 21, the date of the first MetroPCS robbery. The GPS placed Rogers one-tenth of a mile from the Kinsman Road store a few minutes before the robbery. Sometime later the GPS device was tampered with or taken off Rogers, according to court documents.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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