Man pleads guilty to role in Chesapeake grocery store robbery spree

Keonte Yorkshire

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to his suspected role in a string of grocery store robberies during the Fall of 2018.

According to court documents, 21-year-old Keonte K. Yorkshire, aka Tae, was a member of a six-man robbery squad that robbed three grocery stores across the region in the span of a week last Fall.

Officials say that Yorkshire served as an inside look-out for one robbery and an outside look-out for two others.

The armed robberies occurred at a Food Lion in Chesapeake on Sept. 25, 2018, a Food Lion in Virginia Beach on Sept. 29, 2018, and a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach on Oct. 3, 2018.

The teams are reported to have included inside and outside look-outs, getaway drivers, and two gunmen. They allegedly used police scanners to monitor law enforcement activity, encrypted applications, and earpieces to communicate with one another.

At each robbery, the gunmen demanded the managers open the grocery store safe.

One of the gunmen allegedly shot the store manager in the final robbery at a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach.

News 3 spoke with a witness to the shooting the day after it happened. “I ducked. I feared for my life, so I just got behind the register and hoped he wouldn’t kill me,” said Raymone Arrington.

Yorkshire pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery, armed robbery and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years and a maximum sentence of life that he could face when he is sentenced on May 6.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division, James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police, and Kelvin L. Wright, Chief of Chesapeake Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John F. Butler and Andrew C. Bosse are prosecuting the case.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Tidewater Violent Crime Task Force, in partnership with the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Police Departments.

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