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Houston woman alleged accomplice remains jailed in 2021 Waco cellphone store robbery

WACO, TX (KWTX) – A Houston woman suspected in a series of robberies across Texas, and named in a sealed indictment, remains in McLennan County Jail on charges that she and an alleged accomplice robbed a store of cell phone in Waco last year.

McLennan County officials on Monday released the two-count indictment against Ayona Tunstill, 26, who charges her with aggravated robbery in a Jan. 6, 2021 incident at Cricket Wireless, 1607 N. Valley Mills Drive.

Tunstill and Aaron Stephon Akins, 37, were both indicted by a McLennan County grand jury in May 2021 in the Cricket Wireless robbery. Akins was arrested in connection with the robbery and remains in McLennan County Jail. However, Tunstill had never been arrested in the Cricket Wireless robbery, so officials sealed her indictment until she was in police custody.

Court records show Tunstill was sentenced to 15 years in prison for aggravated robbery in Bexar County earlier this year, then returned to McLennan County on Friday to face aggravated robbery charges here.

An affidavit in support of Tunstill’s arrest alleges that she and Akins were arrested or are suspects in several robberies across Texas, including those in Leander, San Antonio and Houston.

“Thefts from other cell phone stores in other jurisdictions are exactly the same modus operandi as this criminal offence,” according to the affidavit in the Tunstill case. “(The detective) can link the suspects to the Waco robbery through surveillance video and witness statements that show the same clothes were worn, the same personal accessories carried and the same vehicle used as in other criminal offenses where Akins and Tunstill have been positively identified. ”

In addition to the Bexar County conviction and pending charges in McLennan County, Tunstill is charged in Harris County with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and credit card abuse and in Lee County with aggravated robbery. and non-appearance, according to court records.

Tunstill and Akins are charged in McLennan County with posing as customers of the Cricket Wireless store until Akins brandished a pistol and forced the two store employees into a back room. Tunstill left the store and returned with a large duffel bag, which she used to load $623 from the cash drawer and about 20 new cell phones from the store safe. She also took the two employees’ personal cell phones, according to the arrest affidavit.

Witnesses told police that Tunstill and Akins fled the scene in a black Chevrolet Camaro.

“(The Detective) was able to positively identify the suspects through information received from outside agencies where Akins and Tunstill robbed a Cricket Wireless store in Giddings on 24/01/21 and were arrested during the robbery of this offense when they were both armed. with handguns and in possession of cell phones stolen from the store and personal cell phones of employees,” the affidavit states.

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