Getaway driver in Village West robbery sentenced

An Illinois man was sentenced Monday to six years and one month in federal prison for driving the getaway car in a $53,000 holdup at a Verizon store in Village West, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

The robbers held store employees at gunpoint and bound them with zip ties in 2016.

Terry Curtis, 34, Rockford, Illinois, pleaded guilty to one count of commercial robbery.

In his plea, he admitted that on Sept. 14, 2016, he was involved when four men robbed the Verizon Wireless store at 10621 Village West Parkway.

Two of the robbers entered the store, followed two minutes later by the other two.

The robbers locked the door and ordered the employees and a customer into a break room, according to the plea.

The robbers ordered them to lay face down on the floor and tied their hands behind their backs. The robbers forced an employee to open a safe before they fled the store with phones and cash worth $53,000, according to the plea. Eventually, an employee managed to get loose and call police.

Investigators used surveillance photos from the robbery to tie the Kansas City robbery to a similar robbery weeks earlier at an AT&T Store in Rochester, Minnesota. They also received an anonymous call that led them to one of the co-defendants who was on parole in Illinois.

During the investigations, agents learned that some of the defendants in the Verizon robbery were part of a group involved in dozens of similar robberies in several states.

Co-defendants who are awaiting trial include:
Mario Lambert, 33, Rockford, Illinois.
Sir T. Love, 32, Rockford, Illinois.
Domonique V. Walker, 26, Rockford, Illinois.
Sharod Pitts, 35, Chicago, Illinois.

McAllister commended the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their work on the case.

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