We’re working to learn more about the identities of seven suspects apprehended in the armed robbery.
Caleb W. Johnson, Montgomery County Jail
EARLIER REPORT (Feb. 1)
A group of armed robbers made a bold daylight raid on a Huber Heights cellphone store Thursday afternoon, threatening employees and a customer with death, but they picked the wrong time and place — the area was already swarming with law officers in training.
In the end, seven suspects were in custody.
Shortly after 2 p.m., police were called to a robbery in progress at the AT&T store at 8245 Old Troy Pike.
A customer inside described the harrowing moments that he and about four store employees shared.
“They told me to hit the floor or they were going to blow my head off,” said a Tipp City man who only wanted to use his first name, Thurman, out of fear for his safety. “They threatened to kill us all. All of them had weapons.”
Thurman said threats went on as the robbers — wearing masks and hats — loaded up on merchandise before leaving after about three minutes.
Not long after that, an officer spotted several of the suspects in a white Honda Pilot, which then sped away from the Northpark Center store and crashed into multiple cars before the group fled on foot, said Huber Heights police Lt. Matt Dulaney.
“There were seven of them bailing within our officer’s sights,” he said. “We had people running in all different directions, and we knew they were armed.”
It just so happened that all of Huber Heights’ administrative officers, detectives and street crews were in the vicinity as well as a large contingent from other departments taking part in SWAT training, Dulaney said.
“Multiple jurisdictions responded quickly, and we were able to set up a perimeter throughout the area,” he said.
SCANNER: Huber Heights manhunt lands 7 in custody
The Huber Heights schools were on lockdown during a brief manhunt that scooped up seven suspects.
“We currently believe we have all of them in custody,” Dulaney said.
Dulaney said the investigation will take time to sort out given the number of suspects, a stolen vehicle, multiple crashes, a mix of long guns and handguns as well as multiple cellphones recovered.
“We’ve got a lot of evidence to deal with,” he said.
One woman received minor injuries in one of the crashes but declined treatment at the scene, Dulaney said.
Officers from Beavercreek, Butler Twp., Dayton and Vandalia assisted.
Carol Berger of Brookville stopped to shop at the strip mall during the afternoon only to find crime scene tape spanning a store.
“It’s shocking,” she said. “In the middle of the day I’d never expect that in this shopping center … It’s always pretty quiet and uneventful.”