CHICAGO — Two men are charged with robbing an Uptown T-Mobile store at gunpoint after a Chicago police surveillance camera team tracked them to a nearby CTA station. A woman with them on the Wilson Red Line platform is charged with possessing a gun they allegedly used in the hold-up.
A little after 1 p.m. on Thursday, two men entered T-Mobile at 4714 North Broadway and checked out the phones and Apple Watches. They left without buying anything, only to return at 1:25 p.m.
“Freeze! Nobody move! I’m not afraid to blow this b*tch!” Romel Pigram, 21, allegedly barked as he pointed a gun at the store employees.
While Pigram held everyone at gunpoint, 23-year-old Quantae Felder ripped three iPhones from a display, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said.
“Don’t move! If you hit the alarm, I’ll shoot,” Pigram warned, according to prosecutors.
Someone in the store called 911 after the robbers left. A cop in the Town Hall (19th) District surveillance room quickly spotted two suspects on a video feed from the area. Officers saw Pigram and Felder making gun motions with their hands as they interacted with 18-year-old Nylah Hamer on the platform, Kalliantasis said.
The trio boarded a train before officers arrived, but cops stopped it at a nearby station and detained them. Kalliantasis said a backpack Hamer had on the platform and aboard the train contained three iPhones attached to a store display and a loaded handgun.
Pigram and Felder are homeless, their attorney said. They are charged with armed robbery with a firearm. Judge Ankur Srivastava ordered Felder to post a $10,000 bail deposit and Pigram to post a $30,000 deposit to be released on electronic monitoring. On parole for burglary, Felder will be held without bail until the state reviews his parole status.
“If I had the authority right now to hold you without bail, I would do so,” Srivastava advised the men.
Hamer appeared before Judge Charles Beach on charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and theft.
Citing Hamer’s lack of criminal background, her defense attorney told Beach she “clearly got caught in a very bad situation, which has been very eye-opening for her.”
“That’s to say the least,” retorted Beach. “Ms. Hamer, you’ve been 18—you’ve been an adult—for approximately four days. And now you’re fortunate they didn’t charge you with the armed robbery, which they could have.”
He ordered her to pay a $3,000 bail deposit to go home.