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Thieves take $26,000 in Apple products from store — and leave a telltale address behind

Brian Lamonte Clark
Brian Lamonte Clark CCBI

The three men who robbed an AT&T store this month in North Raleigh were armed. Police say they left with two crates filled with stolen iPhone and watches.

But they brought to the robbery a box affixed with a shipping label that contained their address.

And they left that box behind.

So police used the address to catch up with Brian Lamonte Clark, 22, and charge him Thursday night with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit that crime, according to an arrest warrant.

Police arrested Clark at an apartment complex on Halliwell Drive about 9:30 p.m. He has no permanent address, according to the arrest warrant, but a search warrant also made public this week indicated detectives discovered his identity with the shipping label address.

Just before 9 p.m. Nov. 12, an employee at the AT&T store on Capital Boulevard called 911 and reported that the business had just been robbed, according to the search warrant. Employees told police that three armed men walked into the store and ordered them to the back, where the merchandise is kept.

They had covered their faces to conceal their identities. The last suspect who entered the store was carrying a cardboard box when he walked through the door.

He took the box to the rear of the store and began filling it with new phones and watches. The men then loaded two additional crates with phones and watches. They left the store out of the rear door with the crates, but they left behind the box they had brought with them, still full of items.

Investigators discovered that the box held a shipping label for an address on Friar Tuck Road in Raleigh.

Police also were aided in their search by looking through the photo database of the Wake County jail. A mugshot of Clark from a prior arrest showed him wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt with a unique design on the front, with black tie strings. Footage from the AT&T store’s security camera showed one of the suspects wearing the same sweatshirt.

Investigators have accused Clark and unnamed accomplices with taking $26,000 worth of Apple iPhones and Apple watches and other electronics gear, including 29 iPhone XS Max units, two other iPhones, seven watches and a Samsung phone.

Clark used a semiautomatic handgun in the robbery, the robbery charge says.

Clark was held in lieu of $175,000 bail.

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Thomasi McDonald is a veteran journalist who writes about crime and public safety issues.

Ron Gallagher is a member of the News & Observer’s Breaking News team and has been writing and editing news for 45 years.