Federal prosecutors in Missouri have charged a brother and sister in connection with two armed robberies that were committed in Kansas City on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19. Both of the victims were pizza delivery drivers. The 18-year-old man and his 22-year-old sister are being held in a federal detention facility on charges of armed robbery, using a firearm while committing a violent crime, kidnapping and carjacking. A third suspect who investigators believe was involved was killed in an armed confrontation with police on Oct. 23.

Armed robberies

Both of the delivery drivers were robbed at gunpoint outside apartment buildings on North East Davidson Road. The first victim says that he was punched in the face and ordered to hand over cash and a pizza when two men approached him and brandished a gun. The second victim was forced into their car and ordered to drive to a gas station to withdraw money from an ATM. When the victim was unable to withdraw the funds, they were told to drive to their home. Once there, one of the perpetrators held the victim’s parents at gunpoint while the other retrieved a safe from an upstairs bedroom.

Cellphone yields evidence

The man and woman were taken into custody a few days later when Kansas City Police Department officers conducted a traffic stop. Officers say they took action after observing the woman, who was being sought in connection with a homicide investigation, leave one of the apartment buildings where the robberies had occurred. According to a KCPD report, one of the men inside the car was shot by police after producing a handgun. A search of the phone taken from the other man in the car is said to have revealed that it had been used to order the pizzas that were being delivered when the delivery drivers were robbed. Police also allegedly discovered text messages between the man and woman discussing the crimes.

Consolidating charges

The penalties for crimes like armed robbery, kidnapping and carjacking are severe, and suspects may face decades behind bars when they are accused of committing multiple violent felonies. However, prosecutors may be willing to make concessions during plea negotiations to avoid arguing the facts in court. When the evidence against their client appears to be overwhelming, experienced criminal law attorneys may offer the prosecutor involved a guilty plea on the primary count if they agree to drop all of the other charges.