Charges: Men put customers, employees in zip ties during T-Mobile store robbery

Roberts, left, and Acquoi

Two men have been charged in connection to the robbery of a T-Mobile store in Columbia Heights last week.

According to authorities, at 8:18 p.m. on Thursday, officers responded to a reported robbery at T-Mobile at 4400 Central Avenue Northeast. During the robbery, the men allegedly zip-tied multiple customers and employees in the back room and ordered an employee to open the safe. One of the suspects assaulted the employee with a handgun because he "wasn't moving fast enough."

The two men, identified as 19-year-old Edward Roberts of Woodbury and 20-year-old Thomas Acquoi of Little Canada, allegedly stole cash and cell phones, then fled the store. One of the cell phones taken was a display phone with GPS capabilities, so T-Mobile activated the GPS on the cell phone. The phone was then tracked to a parking lot in Eagan where the two were arrested.

According to police, Roberts stated that a third man, known as "DJ," robbed the store with Acquoi while he waited in the car. Roberts said they dropped "DJ" off before they were arrested in Eagan.

Both Roberts and Acquoi are charged with aggravated robbery in the first degree. They face up to 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.