Sunglasses and a pair of Nike sneakers helped detectives build their case against a Brooklyn man charged Wednesday for an armed robbery pattern involving convenience stores in Bushwick.
Law enforcement sources said Carlton Brown held up six grocer stories at gunpoint between May 12 and Aug. 29 of this year, stealing quantities of cash and other items, according to acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York.
According to the criminal complaint, Brown, who’s been incarcerated since Aug. 31 for a parole violation, was allegedly seen on camera at each robbery wearing sunglasses and/or Nike sneakers while brandishing a firearm.
The first stickup took place at 1:05 a.m. on May 12, when Brown and an unidentified cohort entered the New Brooklyn Deli at 252 Central Ave. Federal agents said Brown allegedly pulled out out a firearm and demanded cash. He then got away with about $900 in currency and a store clerk’s iPhone, debit card and credit card.
Prosecutors said Brown allegedly struck again on the afternoon of June 30, when he robbed the Adonis Grocery Store at 209 Wilson Ave. and stole $800 in cash from the clerk.
More than a month later, authorities reported, Brown allegedly held up another grocery store at 1725 Broadway at 5 a.m. on Aug. 9, removing $2,000 in cash. Thirteen days later, the complaint noted, he swiped $250 in cash and a cellphone from the Family Deli 1 at 242 Central Ave., early on the evening of Aug. 22.
After making a failed robbery attempt at another Central Avenue convenience store on Aug. 26, prosecutors noted, Brown allegedly held up the Central Service Center at 336 Central Ave. on the morning of Aug. 29, stealing $5,000 in cash from the register as well as an iPhone, two credit cards and two debit cards.
Following the Aug. 29 robbery, detectives obtained security footage taken near an apartment building on Himrod Street, about three blocks from the Central Service Center. The footage shows Brown standing there, about 40 minutes before the stickup, allegedly lifting a mask to his face, catching sunglasses thrown to him from inside the apartment building and then putting them on.
Moments after the robbery, prosecutors said, the footage shows Brown allegedly going through a propped-open rear door at the Himrod Street location, carrying with him an orange bag containing the stolen loot.
Soon after Brown’s arrest for the parole violation, federal agents executed a search warrant at his home on Mother Gaston Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant. They found inside a dresser a firearm magazine containing four rounds of ammunition, as well as Brown’s inmate identification card, as well as a cardboard box containing Nike shoes and a sweatshirt that he allegedly wore during several of the robberies.
After a similar search of the Himrod Street residence, the criminal complaint noted, detectives recovered the sunglasses Brown allegedly also used during the capers.
Brown faces up to 15 years in federal prison if convicted.
Members of the ATF/NYPD Joint Robbery Task Force conducted the investigation.