Dec. 4, 2017 By Tara Law
Two Brooklyn men have been charged with stealing $3,000 worth of iPhones from three Queens mobile phone stores—-including one in Jackson Heights– within four hours on last Tuesday.
The incidents are believed to be part of a widespread pattern, where similar crimes have taken place at 14 cellphone stores across the borough. An investigation is presently ongoing.
Joshua Ellerbe, 28, and Devine Ingram, 22, were arraigned Wednesday and face multiple charges, including burglary, attempted burglary and attempted grand larceny, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
“Many people waited in long lines or signed up in advance to purchase the pricey new Apple products, but the defendants in this case allegedly took the old fashioned illegal route by brazenly walking into stores and grabbing merchandise that was within reach,” according to Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown.
The crime spree allegedly began at about 2:00 p.m., Nov. 28 when they targeted a mobile store in Jackson Heights.
Ellerbe allegedly entered an independent mobile store at 37-50 74th St with two other men. Two of the suspects jumped over the counter and grabbed an iPhone X worth $1,400 from the display case, and then they all fled.
An hour later, the three men allegedly entered a T-Mobile store at 86-16 Queens Blvd in Elmhurst. One of the men stole an iPhone 8 Plus worth about $930 before they all fled in a white Nissan vehicle.
Then at 4:15 p.m., the men entered a T-Mobile store at 95-02 Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven. Ellerbe was wearing a brown UPS hat, and another man was wearing a red UPS hat. The man in the red hat took a cellphone worth $800 from the counter, and the men fled.
Hours later the police spotted the white Nissan allegedly used in the burglaries at 7:30 p.m. parked on Farragut Road in Brooklyn.
The police saw Ingram reach into the back seat, where police saw a UPS jacket and hat. Ingram allegedly admitted to the police that he had driven the Nissan that day and was charged.
Ingram was also charged for is involvement in another burglary, where he and an unapprehended suspect allegedly stole two phones worth in excess of $1,000 from a store at 98-05 Jamaica Ave on Oct. 29, according to the Queens DA.
Ellerbe was also charged for attempting to steal phones from the same 98-05 Jamaica Ave. store but on Nov. 16.
Bail was set for both Ellerbe and Ingram at $100,000 bond/$50,000 cash. Their next court date is Dec. 12. The men face up to seven years in prison if convicted.