City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: APD Public Information Office 512-974-5017 Email
23-0301070 - 1/30/2023 at 6:25 p.m. - 5618 Manor Road (Cricket Wireless)
23-0411200 - 2/10/2023 at 6:52 p.m. - 1181 Airport Boulevard (Boost Mobile)
23-0441074 - 2/13/2023 at 6:06 p.m. - 1122 Airport Boulevard (T-Mobile)
23-0611210 - 3/02/2023 at 7:18 p.m. - 3800 N. Lamar Boulevard Suite 100 (AT&T)
23-0631250 - 3/04/2023 at 7:39 p.m. - 1030 Norwood Park Suite #326 (Metro by T-Mobile)
23-0661115 - 3/07/2023 at 7:12 p.m. - 4700 Loyola Lane Suite #105 (Metro by T-Mobile)
Arrested: Gregory Sterling, Black male, 50-years-old
Gregory Sterling, Black male, 50-years-old
The Austin Police Department (APD) Robbery Unit arrested Gregory Sterling in connection to several robberies at cell phone stores in the Austin area. On January 30, 2023, at approximately 6:25 p.m., Sterling entered Cricket Wireless and acted like a customer. Suddenly, Sterling pulled a handgun and forced a female employee to the ground. Sterling stood over her and pressed the gun's muzzle to her head while using her key to unlock the cash registers. Sterling took the cash and left the area.
Over the following days, Sterling continued a crime spree in the same manner for five more incidents. All the aggravated robberies occurred during closing time, as he pretended to be interested in buying a phone. In three of the cases, he pistol-whipped the employee. In two of them, he dragged the employee by their hair. In all of the cases, Sterling took either cell phones, cash, or both before leaving the area.
Detectives with the Robbery Unit distributed information to patrol officers to be on the lookout and contacted several stores in the area. Detectives gathered surveillance video from each location and narrowed down a list of places where Sterling may live.
During the last robbery, Sterling took a phone with GPS tracking capabilities, allowing investigators to review the device's movement after the crime. Robbery detectives worked closely with Violent Crimes Taskforce (VCTF) members who conducted mobile surveillance in Sterling's last location. Detectives could also hear Sterling's voice in one of the surveillance videos where he gave the name of a known relative.
Detectives found his social media profile and compared his appearance to the surveillance video. Sterling was seen in photographs wearing several pieces of clothing that matched the unique clothing seen in surveillance footage.
On March 8, 2023, VCTF received updated pings of the stolen devices and tracked them to a vehicle. Officers stopped the vehicle, and Sterling was identified as a passenger. Several pieces of evidence from the six robberies were located in the vehicle and Sterling's residence, leading to his arrest.
Sterling has a prior record. He's charged with six counts of Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, a First Degree Felony. Sterling is currently in Travis County Jail.
Anyone with any information should contact APD's Robbery unit at 512-974-5092. You may submit your tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling 512-472-8477. A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for any information that leads to an arrest.