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Suspects charged in Bluetooth Bandits robberies
GREENSBORO, N.C. (1/30/08)--Two suspects were charged Monday with nine North Carolina credit union and bank robberies the past two years that were tied to the "Bluetooth Bandits." Arrested Monday were Christopher Brian Collins, 34, and Sabrina Lynn Phillips, 26. Each is charged with eight counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, plus robbery counts. A third suspect, Anthony Jermain Payne, 25, was arrested earlier and charged in three of the robberies, including that of a credit union. The Bluetooth Bandits got their name because they wore Bluetooth phone devices in their ears during at least two holdups. They netted more than $500,000 in the combined heists. The North Carolina Credit Union League partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a number of trade groups and organizations to offer a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robbers. Collins and Phillips are charged in the robberies of seven banks, plus two heists at Piedmont Aviation CU--on Aug. 18, 2006, and Aug. 10, 2007. Payne was charged in the Aug. 10 robbery. The two holdups netted the robbers more than $104,000.
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