A suspected robber captured Monday by two Wichita police officers who staked out an east-side O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store thinking it might get hit next was charged Thursday in federal court.
Brandon V. Wells, 22, is facing two counts of commercial robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a robbery, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said. Wells is accused of threatening employees of the O’Reilly’s at 3109 E. Pawnee with a handgun after he and another man went into the store to rob it on Monday evening. The robbers got away with cash.
Wichita police Officers Brek Train and Blake McElwain heard the robbery call and decided to set up surveillance at the O’Reilly’s at 4818 E. Lincoln in case the robbers decided to strike twice in one night.
When the officers arrived at the East Lincoln store, they saw its back door propped open, Beall said. Moments later, they saw two men leave and ran after them.
Train and McElwain captured Wells. The other man got away.
Wichita police said Tuesday that Wells is suspected in five other recent auto parts store and gas station robberies that have happened around town since Jan. 27.
If convicted of the federal charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each robbery charge, at least seven years in prison on the first firearms charge and 25 years in prison on the second firearms charge, Beall said. Wells lives in Wichita.