Police arrested two men who are suspected in a series of armed robberies of cellphones and other devices in the Back Bay dating back to July.
Lamont T. Tracey, 19, and Arthur T. Willis, 19, both of Dorchester, were charged with armed robbery and receiving stolen property after the alleged theft of an iPhone Wednesday. They are expected to be arraigned today in Boston Municipal Court.
The two men are also suspected in at least 12 other robberies of cellphones in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Newbury and Hemenway streets, police said.
In Wednesday’s incident, a male victim told police that he was walking in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street just before 11 a.m. when he saw two men crossing the street toward him.
One of the men approached him, stood in front of him with his hand in his pocket – as if he had a gun – and ordered, “Give me your cellphone or I’ll shoot you,” according to police.
The victim then questioned the man, saying, “Excuse me!”
The man responded, “Give me your phone.”
The verbal exchange continued until one of the culprits pointed out that no one was in the area to help him. He then started counting down to zero and told the victim that he would shoot him if he didn’t hand over his phone by the time he finished counting, according to court records.
The victim told police he handed over his phone to the suspects and did not look back until he was almost a block away. By then, they were no longer in sight.
He gave police descriptions of the men, and they stopped two men fitting those descriptions less than an hour later in the rear of Westland Avenue. Both men were identified by the culprit and were arrested.
A follow-up investigation identified the men as suspects in the other robberies, police said.
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