Lehigh Valley

Charges filed against Easton man in armed robbery of AT&T store

Vaughn-Darrius Felix, Gregory Lewis are suspected

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. - Authorities have formally charged an Easton man in connection with the robbery of a Bethlehem Township AT&T store in which he and his alleged accomplice stole about $49,000 worth of merchandise.

District Judge Patricia Broscius arraigned Vaughn-Darrius Felix Monday morning on kidnapping, theft and robbery charges in connection to the Jan. 5, 2017, armed robbery of the AT&T store off Route 191. The 27-year-old is being held in Bucks County Prison, so he was arraigned via video conference.

He failed to post $100,000 bail. Felix’s next court date in this case is a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 13.

Authorities have already charged Felix and co-defendant Gregory Lewis in connection to a series of cell phone store robberies and the 2016 fatal shooting of a store employee in Forks Township.

Bethlehem Township police said two masked men – one armed with a handgun – walked into the AT&T store in January 2017 just prior to closing and locked all the employees in the bathroom, according to court records. Authorities allege they stole the store’s entire inventory of smart phones and tablets worth about $49,000.

The criminal complaint outlines similar robberies on Oct. 29, 2016, in Forks Township; Jan. 16, 2017, in South Whitehall Township; Feb. 9, 2017, in Wind Gap; and Feb. 25, 2017, in Lopatcong Township, N.J.

AT&T provided the identification numbers for the phones stolen from the Bethlehem Township store, and investigators learned that 19 of the phones had been activated, including an iPhone 7 by Lewis the day after the robbery, according to court records. A search of phone calls made in the area of the Wind Gap Verizon store the day of the February 17 robbery revealed a call originating from the phone number used by Lewis to activate the stolen iPhone, authorities said.

Police said the number at the other end of the phone call was one provided to the Easton Police Department on several occasions by Felix. Investigators determined that the phone numbers associated with Lewis and Felix hit off cell towers near the Bethlehem Township store days before the robbery around closing time.

During an interview with a Palmer Township Police Department detective, Felix allegedly admitted to committing all the robberies with Lewis. He allegedly told investigators that they cased the Bethlehem Township store in the days leading up to the robbery to learn the employees’ habits and that it was Lewis who brandished the gun.

Police charged Felix with single counts of robbery, theft, kidnapping and receiving stolen property and three counts of conspiracy - all felonies - in connection to the Bethlehem Township robbery.

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