The half-million-dollar stickup at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre last month was partly a family affair, and one of the people charged in the case had worked around the concert venue, according to accounts detectives provided in seeking several search warrants.
Police also said they found $86,652 in a storage unit that one of the five suspects had rented after the robbery, according to one of the warrants returned to the clerk of court’s office this week.
Police said their break in the case came from anonymous calls to the CrimeStoppers hotline, which offers rewards to tipsters who help police solve crimes.
Jamell Cha Melvin, charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping and conspiracy, had worked for a company that did landscaping work at the concert venue off Rock Quarry Road, Detective T.R. Mcelroy wrote in asking for the warrants.
Mcelroy got five search warrants in the days before and after Melvin, Javeal Aaron Baker, Kianna Lynn Baker, Lorenzo Demarcus McNeill and Shymale Malik Robertson were charged in the case.
Adjani Jari Bryant was arrested July 13, the day of the heist, when a sheriff’s deputy found him walking near where a police dog had tracked suspects from the Walnut Creek offices.
Five employees were held at gunpoint and had their wallets and cellphones taken while the robbers were taking cash from the business, police said. The robbery took place on a Monday morning following a Saturday night show, and the manager who called 911 said at least one of the three masked gunmen may have been a former employee, or at least someone familiar with the business office, because he knew where the money was kept.
According to the search warrant applications, Melvin is Javeal Baker’s father and the longtime boyfriend of his mother, Kianna Baker. Melvin and Javeal Baker lived in an apartment at 3011 Ripley Station Way that Kianna Baker listed as her home address.
Bryant used that address, and McNeill appeared to be living there, too, Mcelroy said.
The warrants were for a storage unit at 3701 S. Wilmington St. that police said McNeill rented a week after the Walnut Creek robbery; Kianna Baker’s cellphone; Jamell Melvin’s cellphone; hotel rooms at the Homewood Suites at 100 Macalyson Court in Cary where police arrested Melvin and Kianna Baker; and hotel rooms at the La Quinta Inn at 191 Crescent Common in Cary.
The La Quinta rooms had been rented by a woman whose phone number was called several times from a number that the CrimeStoppers tipsters said belonged to the people who robbed the amphitheater.
The tipsters also told police that Javeal Baker and Melvin had bought a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Dodge Charger shortly after the robbery. Mcelroy said detectives had followed them on trips between the La Quinta Inn and Ripley Station Way.
The cars, police said, were registered to Javeal Baker’s grandmother.
Police swore out an arrest warrant accusing Melvin of assault with a deadly weapon in an unrelated incident on July 8, and then got the search warrant for the Homewood Suites rooms after tracking the Tahoe and the Charger there on July 18, Mcelroy said.
McNeill had rented those rooms, the detective added.
Javeal Baker and Bryant were each charged with six counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, five counts of second-degree kidnapping and conspiracy.
Kianna Baker and McNeill were charged with being accessories in the robbery, and Kianna Baker was charged with felony possession of marijuana and cocaine.
Shymale Malik Robertson, who was in the Homewood Suites when police searched there, was charged with possession of stolen property. The returned search warrant says police seized a 1998 Lexus registered to Javeal Baker’s grandmother, computer game equipment and software.
Melvin remains in the Wake County Detention Center on $1,503,000 bail. The other four have been released on bail, jail records showed.