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20-year-old faces additional charges in apartment holdups

Hamlet

A 20-year-old man previously arrested on a robbery charge now faces additional criminal charges related to a string of holdups that targeted residents of Fort Wayne apartment complexes.

Devonte M. Hamlet was arrested Jan. 22 on allegations that he robbed a family during a home invasion the night of Jan. 10 at Island Club Apartments, near East Wallen and Auburn roads. He now faces preliminary charges linking him to another robbery the same night at Cambridge Square Apartments, near Coldwater and East Cook roads.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday, Hamlet and another man, both armed with handguns, entered a unit at Cambridge Square Apartments, bound three men with zip ties and stole valuables and about $600 in cash. In the process, Hamlet pistol-whipped one of the men, leaving a gash on his head, the affidavit said.

That man managed to break free of the zip ties and got a handgun from a closet. As the robbers were leaving, he fired at Hamlet from the top of a staircase, the affidavit said.

Hamlet and the other robber left the scene, and minutes later, Hamlet was dropped off at the Parkview Hospital emergency room on Randallia Drive, with two gunshot wounds, the affidavit stated.

Police later tested a black garbage bag that Hamlet used to gather valuables at the apartment and found his fingerprints on it, the affidavit said.

During an investigation into the other robbery reported earlier that night, a woman told police she was followed into Island Club Apartments and that two men forced her into her apartment at gunpoint. The men bound her hands and those of two others, including a toddler, before leaving with valuables. No one was hurt, police said.

In that case, police discovered Hamlet’s fingerprints on duct tape that was used to bind one of the victims, court papers stated.

In the robbery at Island Club Apartments, Hamlet was formally charged with two counts of robbery and three counts of criminal confinement. In the robbery at Cambridge Square Apartments, he was preliminarily charged with burglary resulting in bodily injury, battery with a deadly weapon, three counts of robbery and three counts of criminal confinement.

Hamlet, of the 3500 block of Smith Street, was being held at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $145,000 bail. The accomplice remains at large.

The rash of 13 similar apartment robberies started Jan. 7, and the most recent occurred Jan. 18. Police have said they cannot definitively link all the holdups and that they don’t believe all of them were committed by the same one or two people.

While police have said they have suspects other than Hamlet, no one else has been arrested.

aingersoll@jg.net

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