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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Grocery Store Robbery Spree

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

According to court documents, Keonte K. Yorkshire, aka Tae, 21, 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. 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 included inside and outside look-outs, getaway drivers, and two gunmen. The teams 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. In the final robbery at a Harris Teeter in Virginia Beach, one of the gunmen shot the store manager.

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

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:18-cr-177-9.

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated February 5, 2019