8 People Arrested After Cell Phone Thefts

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CLEVELAND - Police in Cleveland Heights have arrested eight people, mostly teenagers, involving armed robberies of cell phones.

They said they appear to be separate incidents, and not the work of an organized group.

Michael Williams,19, and Kenneth Coles, 21, are each charged with aggravated robbery.

Cleveland Heights police said on September 21, they were among four young men who robbed a 21-year-old man of his iPhone and wallet, behind an apartment building at Noble and Roanoke Roads.

"One of them, they punched him from the back. He didn't do anything. Then he fell down and, like, he became unconscious. Then, they like took the wallet. There was some money in his wallet. They took the wallet and the cell phone, and they ran away," said Bhupati Pradhan, a friend of the victim.

Police said the victim was struck in the back of the head during the robbery and had to be treated for a head wound.

"I seen the boy walk around all the time. He don't do nothing to nobody. For them to just rob him, I just think that's just silly, but you know, you gotta hold on to your stuff and make sure you're safe out here," said Cleveland Heights resident, Tansunia Haugabook.

Cleveland Heights police said on October 3, a father and his 17-year-old son had their iPhones stolen by a 19-year-old who showed them a BB gun.

October 6, police said they arrested two 16-year-olds who had just robbed a man of his phone on Coventry Road.

The next day, four people were robbed, and one pistol-whipped with a gun, at Peace Park on Washington Boulevard. Investigators said they arrested two more 16-year-olds who got away with three cell phones.

Then, on October 8, three people were robbed at gunpoint of their backpacks, and two cell phones near Powell Avenue and Cummings Road.

Police arrested an 18-year-old in that case.

"It's wrong cause basically people work for what they have, so for somebody just to come and take it, it's kind of wrong, but at least they getting caught," said Cleveland Heights resident, Leanna Campbell.

"I have my phone in my hand because it's daylight, but at night, I keep it in my pocket or my purse," said Haugabook.

There have recently been several armed cell phone robberies in neighboring Shaker Heights as well. The police chief said the people arrested in Cleveland Heights do not appear to be connected to their cases.

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