Charges have been brought against 2 individuals for involvement in over 20 robberies of machines in the Philadelphia area, five firearms seized
HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrests of Brandyn Warren and Antoine Laster for their involvement in the robbery of 25 Pennsylvania Skill gaming machines in gas stations and 7-Elevens in the Philadelphia area. While executing search warrants, agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Gaming Division seized five firearms, an ATM machine, and cash.
“These men conspired together to steal over $100,000, which they used to purchase numerous firearms,” said AG Shapiro. “My office will not tolerate this kind of blatant theft and violence, and will hold these defendants accountable for their crimes.”
The six-month investigation, conducted by the Office of Attorney General, revealed that in each robbery Warren, Laster, and their co-conspirators utilized the same common scheme to steal from the gaming machines. They entered the gas station or convenience store during business hours wearing masks, hoods, and gloves, and proceeded to use sledgehammers, pry bars, and other tools to break open the machines and steal the cash that was inside. The robberies resulted in a loss of over $125,000, and damage in excess of $114,000.
The gaming machines, found in gas stations and convenience stores across the Commonwealth, are similar to gambling machines and offer users a chance to win cash prizes while playing. Each machine contains cash boxes within and some locations also have redemption machines that dispense cash to winners. The legality of these machines is currently being litigated in two cases pending before the Commonwealth Court.
Brandon Warren was charged with one count of Corrupt Organizations, 14 counts of Robbery, 14 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 13 counts of Possession of an Instrument of Crime, 13 counts of Theft, 14 counts of Simple Assault, 14 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Theft, one count of Attempted Theft, 14 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Simple Assault, 1 Count of Theft, and 1 count of Conspiracy to Commit Theft. Antoine Laster was charged with 1 count of Corrupt Organizations, 8 counts of Robbery, 8 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, 8 counts of Possession of an Instrument of Crime, 7 counts of Theft, 7 counts of Simple Assault, 8 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Theft, 7 counts of Conspiracy to Commit Simple Assault, 1 count of Theft, 1 count of Conspiracy to Commit Theft, 1 count of Attempted Robbery, 2 counts of Attempted Theft.
The Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Section was assisted in this investigation by the Office of Attorney General’s Gun Violence Task Force unit, the Philadelphia Police Department, the Springfield Township Police Department, the Hilltown Township Police Department, the Lansdale Police Department, the Upper Dublin Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Tobacco.
This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Ashleigh Latonick. All charges discussed are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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