Sometimes they made off with $200, other times with $5,000.
Stowers and Joyner were the gunmen, robbing a few stores together before bringing on Sturgis as their driver in mid-June 2015, prosecutors said.
All the stores they were convicted of robbing were in Marietta or Smyrna. But it was a Lawrenceville detective who, with FBI agents at his side, arrested the men outside a Marietta CVS on June 24, 2015.
A federal affidavit accused the men of robbing 11 stores and trying to rob another between January and June 2015.
Federal prosecutors brought six robberies to the judge. The prosecutors’ office declined to comment about charges from the other five robberies.
The first of the 11 alleged robberies was at a Lawrenceville CVS in January 2015 where the men supposedly made off with thousands of dollars after putting a gun to the manager’s head. The men weren’t charged in that case.
Their robberies in Cobb led to officers posting bulletins warning metro area cops of the crimes.
Lawrenceville detective Justin Hipps noticed a pattern.
Hipps noticed that the facts of the alleged Gwinnett CVS robbery he worked in January matched the description of what was going on in Cobb.
After seeing the similarities, he contacted Cobb police, and along with federal and state agencies, formed a task force that eventually arrested the men.
The task force found that, 30 minutes before robbing one of the stores, Joyner used his debit card to buy baby wipes and candy.
Between the bank statements, surveillance footage and witnesses who identified the cars used, the task force got warrants to arrest the men.
When police searched Joyner’s College Park home, officers found clothing that matched store footage.
“Criminals do not recognize jurisdictional limits nor do they confine their activities to a single jurisdiction,” said Lawrenceville police chief Randy Johnson.
He commended his detective for recognizing a pattern and acting on it.
“We are proud of his tenacious efforts in investigating these crimes,” Johnson said.