3 armed robbery suspects charged

L-R: Jeffrey W. Gross, Darrin K. Hill and Joshua J. Way (Photos source: Brown Co. Jail)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) --The three men arrested Friday night for a series of knife robberies were charged in Brown County Court Tuesday afternoon.

In a 21-day stretch in December,10 businesses were robbed in our area, all involving one man using a knife.

Investigators say, so far, evidence points to 25-year-old Joshua Way being the man with the knife in at least two robberies and 34-year-old Jeff Gross and 28-year-old Darrin Hill serving as get-away drivers.

“This is not a smart crime,” said Mary Kerrigan-Mares, a Brown County Assistant District Attorney. “This is a crime of opportunity and drug driven.”

Way is charged with two counts of armed robbery and false imprisonment. Hill is charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment, and two counts of bail jumping. Gross is charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment, and obstructing an officer.

At a news conference, Commander Jim Runge, of the Green Bay Police Department, said investigators are still going through evidence to try to place the suspects at most, if not all, of the robberies.

Here is a list of the robberies:

Dec. 5: Cousins Subs, 2583 W. Mason Street (Green Bay)

Dec. 10: Subway, 1641 Commanche Ave (Ashwaubenon)

• Dec. 11: Shell Gas Station, 841 Main Ave (De Pere)

Dec. 11: Dollar General, 1152 S. Military Ave (Green Bay)

Dec. 18: Burger King, 1005 S. Military Ave (Green Bay)

Dec. 21: Subway, 1007 W. Mason Street (Green Bay)

Dec. 26: Hardees, 2611 W. Mason Street (Green Bay)

Dec. 27: Subway, 2265 University Avenue (Green Bay)

Dec. 28: Dollar General, 1308 W Wisconsin Ave (Appleton)

Dec. 29: Subway, 445 Cardinal Lane (Howard)

“There is a bunch of search warrants that have to be written, a bunch of video that's got to be gone through and then all of that information has to be analyzed to try to put each person at each location,” said Runge.

Police say they aren't sure why the locations were targeted, but say it's possible the suspects scouted them before the crimes.

Police say a tip to Ashwaubenon Public Safety led them to Way. After the final robbery last Friday, at a Howard Subway, police were waiting at Way's house in Seymour. Court documents show Way and Gross showed up. In the house, police found a knife and clothing that matched witness descriptions and surveillance video.

“As these incidents were occurring, there was communication with other law enforcement agencies throughout Northeast Wisconsin,” said Chief Deputy Todd Delain of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department. “It's that communication and partnership that allowed for quick action.”

Police say about $200 to $300 dollars was taken in each robbery.

No one was hurt, but in four of the robberies, police say the suspect had a restaurant employee stay in a cooler

“It's very frustrating,” said Pat Buckley, a Brown County Supervisor who owns four Subways that were robbed. “What can you tell them other than to try to be vigilant, try to make sure you're keeping that extra eye out.”

The criminal complaint shows Hill and Gross told authorities Hill paid them to drive him.

"I only got cigarettes, $20 and a little smoke out of it," Hill wrote in a statement to police that is included with his criminal complaint.

In court, Way and Hill were issued $100,000 cash bonds. The bond for Gross is $35,000.

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