ChozenWrld wore the same shoes dancing in videos as he did pulling off armed robberies, agents say.
If the shoe fits... maybe get a different pair for pulling heists.
FBI agents in Detroit say they have discovered the identity of a serial armed robber — after recognizing his sneakers on his TikTok videos.
For three months, businesses across the Metro Detroit area had been plagued by a thief always wearing a very similar outfit: a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black ski mask, black skeleton gloves, white Nike sneakers, and a black backpack with pink flowers.
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According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Detroit News, the crime spree began on December 1, when the suspect burst into a 7-Eleven in Benstein and held the clerk at gunpoint, before fleeing with a sum of money.
On January 13, a similarly dressed man entered a Marathon gas station in Dearborn, pressed a handgun into an employees back and demanded money; this time he also took an 18-pack of cigars, but left behind a clue that would later tie him to a future robbery: a .40-caliber bullet dropped near the counter.
Thirteen days later, the same Benstein 7-Eleven was once again held up by a man wearing the same outfit and the same backpack, making the same demands for money, making the same threats with a gun... which appeared to contain the same bullets.
"The clerk initially refused but complied after the subject pulled back the slide of the gun in a motion of chambering a round and ejected a round onto the counter," the FBI task force officer wrote in the complaint. "This round, which was recovered later, was .40 caliber."
On February 1, an Old West Tobacco store in Novi also fell victim to a similarly dressed bandit — but this time, another clue emerged: some pink or red hair peeking out from his ski mask.
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"After the money was placed into the bag, the subject took several boxes of cigars and then fled the store," the complaint states.
The eventual break in the case came from an unusual source: SnapChat. A tipster told Dearborn police to check out the account "Chozenn_One". Digging, investigators learned that account had been recently changed to "ChozenWrld". They then found a TikTok account with the same name — and found some very interesting dance videos:
In this one, ChozenWrld danced to Pop Smoke wearing distinct white Nikes with red accents — very similar to what witnesses described in all four robberies.
They also noticed in his more recent videos, the TikToker had died his hair a very familiar shade of pinkish purple.
This one celebrating his tax refund, they allege, was posted the day before the 7-Eleven was held up for the second time:
The account, investigators learned, which boasts almost 150k followers and 1.6million likes, belonged to 22-year-old Chozen Terrell-Hannah.
There were discrepancies, however. Some witnesses had told investigators the perpetrator was taller, and white. But authorities were confident they had their man.
"Based on my training and experience, I believe due to (Terrell-Hannah's) light complexion, the victims of armed robberies, observing him under the circumstances and wearing the clothing described above, could describe him as either white or black," the FBI task force officer wrote.
After checking police databases for his number, they obtained a warrant to track his cellphone movement history; they discovered the data "was consistent with being in the geographic area of/around the locations of the above-described armed robberies around the reported times for each incident."
Officers raided his home on Wednesday.
"A search of the residence led to the seizure of items believed to be used in the armed robberies including a black Glock handgun, a black backpack with a floral pattern, a skeleton full body suit, and white Nike tennis shoes," the complaint states.
After interviewing him, they said the 22-year-old confessed.
"(He) admitted to committing all four of the above-described armed robberies and acknowledged using the black backpack with a floral pattern in all four of the armed robberies," the officer wrote. "(Terrell-Hannah) explained that skeleton gloves observed during the armed robberies were actually part of a full body skeleton suit."
Terrell-Hannah was arrested and charged with robbery affecting interstate commerce, and possessing a firearm during a violent crime.
He could face more than than 20 years in prison if convicted.