2 charged after cellphone store robbery in West Allis led to pursuit ending in crash

WEST ALLIS -- Criminal charges have been filed against two men accused of robbing a cellphone store in West Allis before leading police on a pursuit that ended in a crash on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Maurice Tolbert, 40, is facing one count of armed robbery and one count of flee or elude an officer. Richard Tolbert, 36, is facing one count of armed robbery and one count of possession of a firearm by outstate felon.

Maurice Tolbert, Richard Tolbert

According to the criminal complaint, around 11:40 a.m. on Oct. 29, officers responded to the T-Mobile store on S. 108th Street near Greenfield Avenue, where police said two masked men entered the store, displayed a handgun, and stole cellphones.

The complaint indicates Richard Tolbert waived a semi-automatic firearm while Maurice Tolbert herded store employees into the back of the store and instructed them to lie face-down. One of the men then made the store manager open the safe, and took numerous phones and other items and put them in a garbage bag. One of the men also took two $100 bills, two $50 bills, and rolls of quarters from registers inside the store.

Maurice Tolbert and Richard Tolbert left the store after instructing everyone to "stay down."  The store manager then notified the police.

When police arrived on scene they were told the gateway vehicle contained a "tracker" that had been taken in the robbery. The data from the tracker indicated that the vehicle was eastbound on I-94, heading towards Miller Park. Officers attempted a traffic stop in the area of National Avenue and Miller Parkway -- that's when the suspect vehicle accelerated away, speeding through a parking lot and almost striking a pedestrian, according to the complaint.

The pursuit ended after the suspect vehicle crashed in a dead-end alley near 37th Street and Greenfield Avenue. The complaint indicates Richard Tolbert exited the passenger side and attempted to flee. He was taken into custody at gunpoint.  Maurice Tolbert fled from the driver's side of the vehicle. With the assistance of a K-9 officer, he was located hiding near 35th Street and Greenfield Avenue.

After Richard Tolbert was taken into custody, he was found to be in possession of two $100 bills, two $50 bills, and rolls of quarters. Inside the vehicle, police found a garbage bag full of cell phones.

According to the complaint, Richard Tolbert and Maurice Tolbert are suspects in a least three other similar robberies of cell phone stores in the City of Milwaukee. In these cases, one or two masked actors that match the describes of both men force employees to open safes while brandishing a firearm.