A Charlotte man was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for robbing two cell phone stores in Belmont.
U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced Rashawn William Coleman, 24, to 22 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for the armed robbery of the Cricket Wireless store on Park Street in Belmont on March 27. June 2020, and the AT&T Wireless store located on Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont on July 29, 2020. According to court documents and the sentencing hearing, Coleman entered the Cricket Wireless store posing as a customer and inquired about purchasing a cell phone. Coleman asked the clerk if there were lower-priced phones available. As the clerk stood in the back of the store looking at cell phone inventory, he saw Coleman standing in the doorway pointing a gun at him.
Coleman ordered the employee to turn over all iPhones and other high-value cell phones. Court records show that Coleman also ordered the clerk to load the store’s safe into Coleman’s vehicle before fleeing the scene.
In July 2020, Coleman re-entered the AT&T Wireless store posing as a customer. While the clerk was on the computer looking at the inventory available to him, Coleman walked around the counter and pointed a firearm at him, according to court records.
Coleman then ordered the store clerk to place all of the cell phones from the safe into her bag. Coleman then fled the scene in his vehicle.
After the robbery, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers located Coleman driving his vehicle and attempted to stop traffic. Coleman attempted to evade police before being arrested.
Inside Coleman’s vehicle, police located stolen cell phones, a firearm and a magazine containing 15 bullets.
Coleman pleaded guilty to two counts of possession and brandishing of a firearm during, in connection with and in support of a crime of violence on December 4. on January 13, 2021. He is currently in custody and will be transferred to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.
You can contact Kevin Ellis at 704-201-7016 or email him at Kellis@GastonGazette.com. Support local journalism subscribing here.
This article originally appeared in The Gaston Gazette: Charlotte man gets 22 years in prison for robbing Belmont stores