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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Baltimore Serial Robber Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

Evidence Presented at Sentencing that Defendant Committed at Least Three and Up To 10 Commercial Robberies in Less than Two Months

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis sentenced Robert William Sykes, Jr., age 27, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to six years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for two armed commercial robberies. At today’s sentencing hearing Judge Garbis found that Sykes also committed at least one, and up to eight, additional armed robberies.   

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

According to the information presented at today’s sentencing hearing, Sykes admitted that on November 30, 2014, he robbed a discount store located in the 5100 block of Liberty Heights Avenue in Baltimore.  Sykes, wearing a red and white hoodie jacket, entered the store and demanded money from the cashier, threatening to shoot if the teller did not comply with his demands.  The cashier gave Sykes approximately $97, and Sykes fled through the front doors.  A customer who was in the store followed Sykes and took a picture of him as he got into the driver’s side door of a Cadillac. That car was subsequently determined to be registered to Sykes. 

Sykes also admitted that on December 2, 2014, he robbed an auto parts store located in the 2000 block of Maryland Avenue in Baltimore. Sykes entered the store holding a handgun in his left hand.  He demanded that the two employees who were standing at the cash registers give him money.  When the employees told him that they were unable to open the registers without a key, Sykes fled the store.  Several hours later, two Baltimore City Police officers on patrol in the Western District recognized Sykes’ Cadillac as being the car used to flee the November 30th robbery.  Police stopped the car and detained Sykes, who was the driver and sole occupant. During the course of the investigation, which included an interview with Sykes and the execution of a search warrant on his car, police learned that Sykes is left handed, and they recovered a red and white hoodie jacket, matching the jacket worn in several robberies, and a black BB gun, believed to have been used to facilitate the robberies.

During the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence of Sykes’ participation in five other robberies.  For example, according to the government’s evidence, on October 20, 2014, and November 1, 2014, Sykes robbed a convenience store located in the 700 block of Washington Boulevard in Baltimore, each time wearing the red and white hoodie jacket.  In each robbery Sykes displayed the gun to the store employees and ordered the employees to give him the money in the cash registers.  After the employees gave Sykes the money from their registers, Sykes ordered the employees to lay on the floor.  Sykes then left the store.

The government also presented evidence that on November 3, 2014, Sykes also robbed a convenience store, in the 3600 block of Potee Street.  Also on November 3rd Sykes attempted to rob a convenience store in the 200 block of West Coldspring Avenue and on November 5, 2014, attempted to rob a discount store in the 5300 block of York Road.

After hearing the government’s evidence, Judge Garbis ruled that Sykes committed at least one and up to eight robberies in addition to the two robberies to which he pleaded guilty.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Baltimore Police Department, and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant United States Attorney Piper F. McKeithen, a cross-designated Baltimore Assistant State’s Attorney assigned to Exile cases, who prosecuted the case.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated April 6, 2016