Two gang members receive life terms for GameStop robberies [Updated]
A judge sentenced two gang members to life terms in connection with a string of robberies that targeted the GameStop video game retail chain and led to more than $1-million in losses, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho sentenced Thomas Stringer Jr., 24, to 160 years to life in state prison. His co-defendant Jimmy McCallum, 20, received 152 years to life behind bars. The crimes involved a dozen victims who were bound, stunned with a Taser and terrorized at gunpoint, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.
Members of Family Swan Bloods gang, both men were charged in September 2009, in connection with robberies at five GameStop stores in Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Tarzana and West Covina.
Both men each were convicted Feb. 9 of robbery, with gang and gun enhancements as well as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
A third man, Gregory Steven Todd, 23, pleaded no contest on Jan. 22 to three counts of second-degree robbery and admitted gang enhancements. Todd is expected to be sentenced on March 25 to more than 20 years in state prison as part of a negotiated plea agreement.
Prosecutors allege that members of the Family Swan Blood members as well as Bee Bops and the Inglewood Family Bloods carried out a series of armed robberies of GameStop stores and tobacco shops throughout Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange counties.
The robberies took place between May and September 2009.
The case involved multiple law enforcement agencies including the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Baldwin Park, Chula Vista, Huntington Beach, Inglewood, Los Angeles, San Diego, Torrance and West Covina police departments.
In May 2010, a Los Angeles County Grand Jury indicted five others in a separate but related case. That indictment charged Ahmad Muhammad, 32; Kadufa Hammond, 24; Mohammad Musa Mohammad, 33; and Andrea Kennedy, 24, with 37 felony counts. A fifth indictment remains sealed.
-- Andrew Blankstein
[For the record, 3:42 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Jimmy McCallum received a sentence of 52 years to life behind bars.]