Teens held cellphone store employees at gunpoint, court docs say

Courtney Radford. (Photo Provided/Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A 16-year-old faces five felony charges as an adult after authorities say he and a 15-year-old committed armed robbery.

Courtney Radford, 16, faces charges that include one count of armed robbery, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of criminal confinement.

On the morning of Oct. 18, Radford and a 15-year-old boy held two female employees at an AT&T store located at 4351 Lafayette Road at gunpoint, forcing the women to give them cellphones, headphones and cash from a store safe, then ordered the employees to lie on the floor in a back bathroom while they fled the business, according to charging documents.

Both Radford and the 15-year-old suspect told detectives that Radford came through the front of the business pointing a weapon, ordered the employees into a the back of the store and then opened the back door, where the 15-year-old was waiting, also with a weapon. What the suspects don’t agree on is who was carrying a .38-caliber semi-automatic handgun and who was carrying a BB gun.

The store employees told detectives that a male came in the front door of the store pointing a silver semi-automatic gun at them and told them to go to the back of the building. The women said they heard a knock at the store’s back door after that, and the first suspect let another male inside. Then the suspects forced the women at gunpoint into the inventory room and demanded phones and money from the store’s safe, according to court documents.

After what the employees explained as a time-locked safe was opened and the money from it put into a bag, the suspects asked for Beats headphones, which the employees retrieved from the sales floor. Then the suspects forced the women at gunpoint into an employee bathroom, telling the women to lie on the floor and stay there for five minutes while the suspects left the store.

According to court documents, the store had a surveillance system, and officers were able to take still images from the video for reference. Authorities were able to locate the suspects in a stolen vehicle in an apartment complex in the 6200 block of Georgetown Road. Both suspects fled the vehicle and were pursued on foot. Officers quickly established a perimeter and an IMPD K-9 responded. After a short time, Radford and the 15-year-old were taken into custody without incident. Officers were also able to view surveillance video from the apartment complex.

When detectives interviewed Radford, he told them he and the other suspect parked near the store and “staked out the business.” Radford told police he had entered through the front door while the other suspect waited at the store’s rear. He also confirmed that he and the 15-year-old suspect had changed what they were wearing after the robbery.

Radford, however, claimed that he was in possession of a silver BB gun during the robbery and told detectives his counterpart had carried a real gun and a BB gun.

The 15-year-old suspect, when interviewed, told detectives that he had carried “a black semi-automatic realistic looking BB gun,” while he said Radford carried the .38-caliber semi-automatic handgun.

A search of the stolen vehicle uncovered two plastic bags containing cellphones, as well as four pairs of Beats headphones, clothing and money. What court documents called “a realistic looking BB gun and a chrome Lorcin .38 caliber semi-automatic handgun” were found in a black bag on the back seat floor.

Radford is being held in the Marion County Jail.  His initial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 23.