BPD charges couple with AT&T robbery

Jamail Wallace (left) and Latashi Henry (right)å

Beaumont Police Department detectives say they have solved a plot by a Beaumont couple to rob the AT&T store on Dowlen Road in February.

Jamail Wallace, 21, and Latahsi Henry, 34, were both indicted April 17 on a charge of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.

Early reports from police indicated that a lone gunman walked into the AT&T store at in the 4400 block of Dowlen Road on Feb. 17 and held the occupants, including the manager, at gunpoint while he took money from the store’s safe.

But according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Examiner, it seems Wallace and Henry, a manager at the store, were accomplices in the robbery and used many of the latest gadgets — all sold at the AT&T store — to pull off the heist.

The robbery began as soon as the store opened at 8 a.m. when police say Wallace grabbed an employee who was just finishing a cigarette and told her to take him to the money. The affidavit said the suspect led the victim to the safe, and the victim told police “it was like he already knew where the safe was located.”

The gunman then approached Henry, who was present but not scheduled that day, and ordered her to open the safe. The affidavit said Wallace did not follow Henry into the safe room and left her unattended in a room filled with panic buttons and phones that were never used to call police and a back door that was unlocked through which she could have escaped.

Witnesses told police Wallace was wearing headphones capable of hands free telephone calls. In a later interview, Henry said she too was wearing headphones police would later learn were also capable of such calls. The affidavit said Henry had two phones in her pocket and a smart watch that was capable of making calls.

Police said they explained to Henry they thought the robbery was an inside job and asked for her cell phone data, which she denied police access to. The interview ended a short time later and Henry was taken into custody on outstanding warrants.

“I then learned Henry had performed a factory reset on her iPhone, effectively deleting all data stored on the phone, when I stepped out of the office just prior to her arrest,” a detective said in the affidavit.

The deletion would do no good, as the detective said he acquired cell phone records that showed a 33-minute phone call between Henry and Wallace that started at approximately 7:59 a.m. — one minute before the store opened — and ended just one minute after Wallace allegedly left the store, money in hand, at 8:33 a.m.

Both are expected to appear before a Jefferson County judge in the coming months.

If convicted, both face sentences from five to 99 years.

— Clay Thorp

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