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 June 27, 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 asked about purchasing a cell phone. Coleman asked the employee if there were any lower priced phones available. While the employee was in the back of the store looking through the cell phone inventory, he saw Coleman standing in the doorway pointing a gun at him.
Coleman ordered the employee to hand over all of the iPhones and other high valued cell phones. Court records show that Coleman also ordered the employee to load the store's safe in Coleman's vehicle before fleeing the scene.
In July 2020, Coleman went into the AT&T Wireless store again posing as a customer. While the employee was at the computer looking through available inventory for him, Coleman came around the counter and pointed a firearm at her, according to court records.
Coleman then ordered the store employee to place all the cell phones from the safe in his bag. Coleman then fled the scene in his vehicle.
Following the robbery, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers located Coleman driving his vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Coleman attempted to evade the police before he was arrested.
Inside Coleman's vehicle, law enforcement located the stolen cell phones, a firearm, and a magazine that contained 15 bullets.
Coleman pleaded guilty to two counts of possession and brandishing of a firearm during, in relation to, and in furtherance of a crime of violence on Dec. 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 reach Kevin Ellis at 704-201-7016 or email him at Kellis@GastonGazette.com. Support local journalism by subscribing here.
This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Charlotte man gets 22 years in prison for robbing Belmont stores