By Kaylee Lindenmuth
Four people are behind bars after Fleetwood police ambushed a courier at an adult bookstore about two miles from campus at gunpoint.
The robbery occurred around 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Cupid’s Treasure in Richmond Township, on Route 222, two miles west of KU.
According to Fleetwood Police Chief Steven Stinsky, Teejay Sanabria, a 36-year-old Richmond Township man, orchestrated the robbery with three co-conspirators: Coty Kellem, 23, of Kutztown; Amon Evans, 22, of Maxatawny Township and Nafeese Devastey, 22, of Maxatawny Township. Sanabria is a former employee of the store, Stinsky said.
At the store, Evans and Devastey waited for a courier who was picking up business proceeds, while Kellem served as lookout. The three were dropped off by Sanabria, who never returned to the scene.
When the courier exited the business, Evans and Devastey rushed him, pointed handguns in his face and forced him to the ground. They took the proceeds and fled in the courier’s truck northbound on Kutztown Rd.
Kellem fled on foot across Kutztown Rd. and was caught in a field between Oakhaven Rd. and Kutztown Rd. by a KU Public Safety officer.
Sanabria’s car was found outside his house in Richmond Township, and he was arrested without incident. A search warrant was executed there, as well. Police found evidence related to a separate robbery at Cupid’s a year ago, which remains unsolved.
The stolen truck was found by Kutztown Borough Police on Jennifer Drive about a mile from Cupid’s.
On Oct. 16, police took Evans into custody with the help of the Berks County Emergency Response Team. There was an outstanding warrant on Evans for a traffic violation, and arrangements were made through a constable for him to come to Magisterial District Judge Gail Greth’s courtroom in Fleetwood to pay the fines. There, Fleetwood Police and BCERT members were waiting, and he was taken into custody without incident.
BCERT, Fleetwood Police and KU Public Safety, according to a KU crime alert, found that one of the suspects, who they did not name, was visiting a student at Dixon Hall. Officers went to the location to no avail. The suspect, they said, was later apprehended in Kutztown borough without incident.
Fleetwood Police said the fourth suspect, Devastey, called Fleetwood Police to arrange his surrender at his residence on Oct. 17. Prior to that, police said they searched the residence, which he shared with Evans, where they found two firearms, a “substantial amount of the stolen money,” marijuana and related paraphernalia.
All four were turned over to Berks County Sheriff’s for processing and arraignment on robbery, theft, assault and drug related offenses.
Stinsky said in a media release, “The Fleetwood Police would like to thank the assisting police departments and the members of the public who assisted with this investigation to bring it to its successful and safe conclusion.”
Devastey, Sanabria and Evans were all committed to Berks County Prison, unable to post $50,000 bail. According to court documents, Kellem was initially committed to Berks County Prison but is free on bail as of Oct. 17.
A preliminary hearing for all four is set for Oct. 23 at 9:30 a.m. at Magisterial District Judge Gail Greth’s Fleetwood courtroom.