Lehigh Valley

Man suspected of robbing Forks Verizon store to stand trial

FORKS TWP., Pa. - A Lehigh Valley man charged in connection with a string of cell phone store robberies was in court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday. 

25-year old Nadir Chandler of Bethlehem had the charge of conspiracy to commit robbery added and then the hearing was waived for court. 

Police say around 7:30 p.m. on October 29, 2016, they were called to an armed robbery at the Verizon Wireless store at 310 Town Center Boulevard in Forks Township. It was reported by the manager, Michael DeRose. DeRose told police that a black male, wearing a black ski mask and red hoodie, pointed a handgun at him and forced him into the stores back room. 

Police say the suspect stole 77 electronic devices, most of which were cell phones. 

Around 8:30 p.m. on November 21, 2016, a homicide occurred outside of 2805 Eldridge Avenue in Palmer Township. At the time of the homicide, the victim Michael Davis, was employed by the Verizon Wireless Store in Forks Township, according to police. 

Around 8:30 p.m. on November 22, 2016, an attempted armed robbery and abduction occurred outside of 3336 Sherwood Road in Palmer Township. The victim was identified as the store manager, Michael DeRose.

Police say Verizon gave them a list of stolen cell phones and the IMEI numbers. IMEI is a unique number that is given to every cell phone.

On November 23, 2016, Palmer Township police contacted a confidential source who provided the following information in reference to the Forks Township Verizon store robbery. 

The source said he met with Kasandra Rios at her home in the 1200 block of Livingston Street in Bethlehem. The source said an individual known as 'Starz" was sitting at the kitchen table, near a bag of cell phones. Police say they showed the source a JNET photo of Nadir Chandler and the source identified Chandler as 'Stars,' who was present when he purchased the stolen cell phones. 

According to police, while at her residence, the source bought five cell phones with a value of more than $2,000 from Rios for $1,250. All of the phones appeared new, unused and were still in the box, the source told police. 

According to police, Rios told the source that she had sent Chandler to the Verizon store to collect money for a drug debt from the store manager, DeRose and instead, Chandler came back with the phones.

According to police, on November 3, the source took pictures of the phones he bought off Rios and posted them for sale on his Facebook page. The source said that he had sold all of the phones, but he may be able to get some back. 

On November 23, the source bought back and provided police a cell phone and a cell phone box that he had originally bought from Rios then sold, according to police. 

Police say they were able to use the Facebook photos and the phones' IMEI numbers to identify they were the ones stolen in the robbery.

Chandler was extradited from Georgia and brought to Northampton County. He is the fifth suspect charged with theft in connection with a string of cell phone robberies.

He's being held on on $500,000 dollars bail.

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