Trio busted in cell phone, tanning salon robberies, police say - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Trio busted in cell phone, tanning salon robberies, police say

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Kristie Welch and Bryan Gale Kristie Welch and Bryan Gale
Charlsy Huneycutt Charlsy Huneycutt

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Police say a series of armed cell phone store robberies committed by a woman are tied to a series of tanning salon robberies committed by a man.

And, on Monday afternoon, police added that another woman was involved in two of the cell phone store robberies.

On Sunday, police arrested a woman wanted in Charlotte for several armed robberies at various cell phone stores. Monday morning, they arrested a man and charged him in four tanning salon robberies.

Kristie Welch, 34, was charged in the cell phone robberies – and as a co-conspirator in the tanning salon robberies, police said.

Bryan Gale, 37, was charged in the four robberies at various tanning salons. It's unclear if he will be charged as a co-conspirator to the cell phone robberies.

Previous stories: Dilworth tanning salon robbery | S. Charlotte tanning salon

In one case, a cell phone robbery victim told police Welch said "her husband" was waiting in a car while she conducted the robbery.

On Monday afternoon, Charlsy Huneycutt, 27, was charged in connection with two robberies that Welch was also involved in, police say. Those are the Boost Mobile on Albemarle Road on June 21 and the Boost Mobile on Independence Blvd. on June 24, police said.

The tanning salon robberies started on June 5 in Dilworth. The latest one was June 12 on Gallaria Blvd in Charlotte.

Police connected Welch to robbers the Boost Mobile on Albemarle Road on June 21 and the one on East Independence on June 24. She is also the suspect in a Cricket Store robbery on June 26, Monroe Police confirmed Monday afternoon.

In the Monroe robbery, the clerk told police that the suspect said: "I am surprised you haven't seen me in the news; I'm robbing all the Cricket stores." 

It's possible she is connected to three others earlier this month.

Surveillance video dated June 20 from a Cricket on East Arrowood Road shows a woman, who police believe is Welch leaving in a black Honda.

An employee at that store says a woman came in, motioned to what was believed a gun in her waistband then repeatedly demanded money.

The worker says at one point the woman spoke in broken Spanish saying, "give me all the money" and threatened to shoot. She also told WBTV the robber told her to "hurry up her husband was waiting outside."

Police say Welch has been known to travel with a man riding a black scooter.

An employee at the Boost Mobile store on Albemarle Road gave a similar version of events.

The worker says it was around 6:30 pm when a woman came in, demanded money and threatened her life.

She says the woman acted nervous and told her not to call the cops or she would come back and kill her.

The employee said the woman was in an out within 3 minutes.

It's possible Welch is also responsible for two more armed robberies earlier this month.

One at the cell phone store on South Boulevard and one on Kilborne Drive.

On Sunday, Monroe Police were called to a Cricket store on Highway 74.

"We had a white female enter the Cricket store..she brandished a weapon at the employees here at the store and demanded money," Sgt Joe Pyler with the Monroe Police Department said.

Sgt Pyler isn't saying for sure it's Welch – but says it's a possibility.

This time they believe the woman got away in a blue pickup.

Each time the woman got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

One worker tells me she believes these cell phone stores are a target because most people pay in cash each month for their pre-paid plans.

Arrest records show Welch has been arrested 5 times since 2009 for drug possession, prostitution and probation violation.

She's been convicted of forgery, larceny and simple assault.

Her latest arrest shows she was just released in Feb of this year.

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