AUSTIN, Texas — A man has been arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies at six different Austin cellphone stores.
Fifty-year-old Gregory Sterling is accused of robbing the following locations:
- Jan. 30: 5618 Manor Road (Cricket Wireless)
- Feb. 10: 1181 Airport Blvd. (Boost Mobile)
- Feb. 13: 1122 Airport Blvd. (T-Mobile)
- March 2: 3800 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite 100 (AT&T)
- March 4: 1030 Norwood Park Suite #326 (Metro by T-Mobile)
- March 7: 4700 Loyola Lane Suite #105 (Metro by T-Mobile)
Police said all the incidents occurred during closing time, as Sterling pretended to be interested in buying a phone.
In three of the cases, he pistol-whipped the employee, according to police. In two of them, he dragged the employee by their hair, police said. Sterling is accused of taking either cellphones, cash or both before leaving the area.
The Austin Police Department said during the last robbery, Sterling took a phone with GPS tracking capabilities, allowing investigators to review the device’s movement after the crime. Detectives could also hear Sterling’s voice in one of the surveillance videos where he gave the name of a known relative.
Detectives found his social media profile and compared his appearance to surveillance video, police said. Sterling was allegedly seen in photographs wearing several pieces of clothing that matched the unique clothing seen in surveillance footage.
On March 8, police received updated pings of the stolen devices and tracked them to a vehicle. Officers stopped the vehicle, and Sterling was identified as a passenger. Several pieces of evidence from the six robberies were allegedly located in the vehicle and Sterling's residence, leading to his arrest.
Sterling is charged with six counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, a first-degree felony. Sterling is currently in the Travis County Jail.
Anyone with any information on the cases is asked to contact APD at 512-974-5092 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 512-472-8477.