Federal charges were filed Tuesday against twin brothers accused of a robbery in Topeka, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Charles Lamar Steele, 23, Topeka, and Lamar Ray Steele, 23, Topeka, are charged with one count of robbery. A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Topeka alleges that on June 4, 2014, they robbed the Check Into Cash store at 3711 S.W. Plaza Drive in Topeka.
In court papers, it is alleged that Charles Lamar Steele entered the store brandishing a handgun. He grabbed a clerk by the wrist and forced her to the cash drawers. He demanded money and threatened to kill her if she did not comply. He struck her in the head with the gun, forced her to front door and told her to stay on the ground and keep her head down until he was gone.
Surveillance photos from the robbery showed another man talking on a cell phone while holding the front door open at the time Steele entered the store. Investigators identified the man with the phone and used phone records to determine that at the time of the robbery he was connected to Charles Lamar Steele’s phone number. Investigators also learned that Lamar Ray Steele had helped plan the robbery.
If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commend the Topeka Police Department and the FBI for their work on the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.