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Robbers on bicycles take groceries at gunpoint outside Cleveland convenience store

September 27, 2018

Robbers on bicycles take groceries at gunpoint outside Cleveland convenience store

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Two robbers on bicycles took a two men’s groceries at gunpoint Monday outside a convenience store in Cleveland’s Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood.

Investigators arrested one of the robbers but are still trying to identify the second man, according to police reports.

Wilbert C. Phillips, 59, is charged with aggravated robbery in the incident on East 116th Street near Forest Avenue, according to court records.

He waived his right to a preliminary hearing during his arraignment in Cleveland Municipal Court. The case has been bound over to a Cuyahoga County grand jury.

He remains in custody at the Cuyahoga County Jail on $50,000 bond.

A 60-year-old man and a 42-year-old man were leaving Chillie’s Beverage and Deli just before 9:30 a.m. when Phillips approached them and started asking them questions. The two men crossed the street to get away from Phillips, according to a police report.

Phillips and another man were on bicycles when they rode up to the 60- and 42-year-old men minutes later. Phillips pulled a gun out of his waistband and threatened them, demanding a grocery bag and everything they had in their pockets, a police report says.

Phillips took the grocery bag, which contained a bottle of Mountain Dew and a carton of cigarettes, and $2 in cash before he and the other robber rode away.

Cleveland police officers searching the area for the robbers spoke to an employee at the nearby C&G Tire Services. The employee said Phillips frequents the area and tried to sell him a box of cigarettes and Starbucks coffee.

Security video showed Phillips carrying the grocery bag near C&G Tire Services approximately a half-hour after the robbery occurred, police reports say.

A Cleveland police officer spotted Phillips a short time later riding a blue bicycle on Melba Avenue near East 116th Street. The officer yelled at him to stop, but Phillips rode away through a backyard.

The officer saw Phillips pull a gun from his waistband and toss it in a yard, the police report says. The officer then drew his own gun, ordered Phillips to stop and took him into custody.

Officers recovered the 9mm handgun Phillips tossed aside as he was riding the bike, police reports say.

The two men Phillips is accused of robbing identified him as one of the robbers on bicycles, police reports say.

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