News Releases

May 8, 2017: Three Men to Stand Trial in Series of Cell-Phone Store Robberies

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Three homeless men were arraigned today after being ordered to stand trial in connection with a dozen mobile phone store robberies, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

Renell Samuel Collins (dob 6/13/65) faces 14 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Casey Jarvis said Dexter Powell (dob 7/16/68) faces four counts of second-degree robbery and Stephen Wayne Rodgers (dob 4/10/71) is charged with three counts of second-degree robbery.

All three defendants were each held to answer for the charges on April 24.

The three defendants pleaded not guilty today and are due back on June 13 for a pretrial conference in Department 113 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

The felony information includes allegations that Collins personally used a handgun during the robberies and had been convicted of drug-related offenses on eight occasions between 1992 and 2015 and driving or taking a vehicle without consent in 2000.

Case BA450711 also includes allegations that Powell also was convicted of drug-related crimes five different times between 1998 and 2010.

The robberies at gunpoint took place between July and August 2016 in and around Downtown Los Angeles, the prosecutor said. The defendants made off with hundreds of dollars in cash and cell phones, the prosecutor added.

Bail is more than $3.7 million for Collins, $410,000 for Powell and $250,000 for Rodgers.

Collins faces a possible maximum sentence of 65 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Powell faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted and Rodgers faces a maximum sentence of 7 years.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery/Homicide Division.