A Harris County judge on Friday tripled the bail for two men accused of armed robbery and suspected with three other men of 17 other area robberies, mostly at doughnut shops.
State District Judge Jim Wallace raised bail from $50,000 to $150,000 after prosecutors said 22-year-old James Carter and 19-year-old Jarrett Carter implicated themselves in at least one robbery and are suspected in many others. It was unclear if they are related.
Appointed defense attorney Nathan Hennigan asked that bail be lowered to the standard $30,000, citing a lack of criminal history and close ties to the community.
The pair were arrested with 18-year-old Zachary Lucas, who is expected in court Monday, after the armed robbery of a T-Mobile phone store in the Willowbrook area turned into a police chase Wednesday.
The three suspects, in a red Dodge Avenger sedan, led police on a chase that ended along a nearby bayou, police said. Two suspects were arrested near the car while one ran into a nearby apartment complex near FM 1960.
Harris County sheriff’s deputies later arrested that man. He was found with two men suspected in at least 17 restaurant robberies in recent weeks.
The two men are accused of using at least one handgun as they held up mostly doughnut shops and at least one Subway restaurant, according to Lt. Jeff Stauber.
Investigators believe Jamicheal Simmons, 19, and Kenneth Carl Lee, 21, were responsible for three doughnut shop robberies early Wednesday: a Shipley’s shop at 5:31 a.m., a Dunkin’ Donuts 10 minutes later; and a Kolache Factory at 5:51 a.m.
The two men also appeared in court Friday, in state District Judge Michael McSpadden’s court.
Lee has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The other four each face one count of the same charge.
Only Lee had a prior criminal record in Harris County; he was charged in May 2015 with assaulting his girlfriend. Investigators say he saw she had exchanged text messages with another man.
Stauber said the two alleged robbery crews operated separately but seemed to know each other.
He said deputies recognized the pair because they have been watching surveillance video.