One suspect is dead and two others were charged in federal court Thursday for the armed robbery of a Walgreens in Blue Springs, according to Tammy Dickinson, the United States attorney for the Western District of Missouri.
Shannon R. Thomas, 25, of Shawnee, Kansas, and Deonte J. Collins-Abbott, 21, of Grandview, Missouri, were charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City.
The criminal complaint charges both Thomas and Collins-Abbott with the armed robbery of a Walgreens located at Ninth and Duncan in Blue Springs. Thomas and Collins-Abbott are also charged with aiding and abetting each other to possess a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to an affidavit filed in support of Thursday’s criminal complaint, law enforcement officers were conducting surveillance on Thomas and Collins-Abbott as part of an investigation into a series of 21 armed robberies of businesses in Independence Raytown, North Kansas City, KCMO and KCK since Jan. 2, 2016. In all of these robberies, the affidavit said, the suspects have consistently displayed handguns in a threatening manner and behaved in a violent and aggressive fashion physically toward their victims, including shooting one victim at the Conoco located at 4656 Prospect Ave. in KCMO, on March 15, 2016. The robberies appear to have been committed consistently by at least four suspects who appear in surveillance video in most of the incidents, according to a news release from Dickinson's office.
Law enforcement officers saw Collins-Abbott leave his apartment and travel to the apartment of Jermon Seals in Shawnee early Thursday morning. When Collins-Abbott and Seals left the apartment, the affidavit said, they both appeared to be holding handguns and were dressed in all black clothing. They left in Seals’s 2001 BMW X5 SUV and eventually stopped to pick up Thomas.
At approximately 3:09 a.m., the affidavit said, they stopped at the Phillips 66 at 1005 N.W. Coronodo Dr. in Blue Springs. They entered the business and quickly left. According to the affidavit, they had attempted to rob the business.
They then drove to the area of Ninth and Duncan in Blue Springs. The affidavit said they left the vehicle and walked up to the Walgreens, where they confronted an employee outside the business and forced the employee inside at gunpoint. Once inside, one of the robbers placed a firearm to the back of the employee’s head and took money from the front register. The other two robbers went over the pharmacy counter and took prescription grade cough syrup at gunpoint from the pharmacist. They then exited the business.
Law enforcement officers confronted them as they were walking back to the vehicle, the affidavit said. They failed to comply with the officers’ commands, according to the affidavit, and turned toward the officers, pointing a gun in their direction. Officers returned fire and Seals was struck in the exchange. Collins-Abbott and Thomas were apprehended by officers after a short foot pursuit.
An ATF spokesperson said there has been a joint investigation with the ATF, the FBI and the Kansas City Police Department.
Someone robbed Hairen Patel’s Overland Park Subway in February. Investigators believed it was one of at least 10 armed robberies at Subway stores across the metro this year.
However, charging documents did not show the suspects charged were affiliated with the string of Subway robberies.