Bayshore Qdoba robbery suspect 'needed money for a car:' complaint

A Milwaukee man is charged in connection with the armed robbery of the Qdoba at Bayshore, and prosecutors say he admitted to stealing his grandfather's gun and hiding from police in the ceiling.

Marqavion Williams, 18, faces the following charges: armed robbery, false imprisonment, failure to comply with officer's attempt to take a person into custody, criminal damage to property and 
carrying a concealed weapon.

The crime happened on the night of March 13. Police were called to the Qdoba shortly before 11 p.m. for an armed robbery in progress.

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Marqavion Williams

According to a criminal complaint, Williams admitted to going to the Qdoba that morning to "scope it out." Police said he had a 16-year-old with him. Williams told investigators they committed the crime because "they needed money for a car." According to prosecutors, he made up a story about trying to buy a car with "fake money," and he said the seller threatened to harm him if he did not get the rest of the money owed. He later admitted to making that story up, telling police he would have committed the crime regardless of whether he was being threatened.

As for the robbery, the complaint says Williams told investigators the plan was to "get in there" and "scare someone...enough to get money and get out of there before you guys (the police) showed up." He said they waited in the bathroom until the manager was alone, pointing a gun at the manager and ordering the manager to open the safe. He told the manager, "I don't want to do this, but I'll shoot you. We need the money...need to get into the safe. We know there's a safe." The manager, who said he "felt something pressed against his back" during the ordeal, said they could not open the safe, and indicated all the money was in the cash registers up front. When the two suspects went to the front of the restaurant, the manager ran out of the store. Williams said at this point, they saw police had already arrived, so they climbed into the ceiling.

Qdoba Bayshore

While they were in the ceiling, the complaint says police called Williams' phone 48 times, but he didn't answer. When they texted him; however, prosecutors say he "said he was afraid and sorry for what he had done," and he "did not mean to hurt anyone and just wanted to go home." He did not come down from the ceiling, though.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office's SWAT team was called in, and pepper spray was deployed into the ceiling. The complaint says "40mm impact rounds" were deployed into the ceiling tiles around midnight to make the pepper balls more effective.

The two were arrested when they fell from the ceiling in the vacant business next door to Qdoba.

Prosecutors say Williams indicated they got into the vacant unit by making a hole in the drywall between Qdoba and the vacant business.

Police said a handgun was recovered from the ceiling. The complaint notes that Williams is under 21, and could not legally have a concealed carry permit due to being underage.

The complaint says Williams initially denied it was his gun and said it was a BB gun, later admitting he'd stolen it from his grandfather.

Williams made his initial appearance in court Saturday, March 18. Cash bond was set at $25,000.

In court Monday, Williams' attorney pushed back against the armed robbery charge.

"I’m challenging the sufficiency of the complaint with the respect to Count 1, the armed robbery," said Douglas Rebholz, Williams' attorney. "I don’t see any article, any article, any property taken from anybody."

"I’m looking at the complaint," said Michael Odden, prosecutor. "There’s a line that says office video shows the defendant holding a gun while (the manager) is on the phone and appears to be trying to open the safe."

"I have reviewed the complaint, and I do find probable cause for all of the counts," said Susan Roth, court commissioner.

Online court records show he was out on $500 signature bond in a theft case filed in May 2022.