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Grand Jury Indicts Six In Alleged Robbery Ring

Six men that prosecutors say were involved in a string of robberies were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Six men that prosecutors say were involved in a string of robberies were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury.

Since their first hit on June 20, 2012, prosecutors say they accounted for nearly 10 percent of all armed robberies in the Little Rock metropolitan area.

Prosecutors say the suspects mostly targeted fast food restaurants like Wendy's and McDonald's.  But gas stations and other restaurants were on the hit list as well.

"They would come in brandishing firearms," said US Attorney Christopher Thyer.  "They would come in and, if possible, isolate the store manager."

Prosecutors say the ring planned hit after hit -- at a rate of about four per month -- netting a total of $31,313.05 in cash.

"From an organizational standpoint, they were very good," Thyer said.

When local police agencies noticed a trend, they enlisted the help of the FBI.  That landed Tony Smith, Mike Waller, Daniel Caple and Justin Pettis behind bars.

But two other men, Christopher Bell and Antwann Sockwell, that prosecutors say were also involved in the robberies are still on the run.

"Certainly we consider them a threat," Thyer said.

The indictment covers 20 robberies, but prosecutors believe the six men are responsible for three dozen additional robberies across Arkansas over the last year.

Prosecutors say they will continue efforts to connect the six suspects to those crimes.
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