WATERLOO – A Waterloo woman has been found guilty of using a knife during a cellphone store holdup on the day before Thanksgiving in 2015.
Angling for a lesser strong-arm robbery charge, Cheryl “C.J.” Wanchanic’s attorney had argued that there were no indications on surveillance videos that his client was armed.
But jurors found Wanchanic guilty of first-degree robbery on Friday after about two hours of deliberation. Wanchanic stood silently as the verdict was read in court.
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Authorities said Wanchanic donned a ski mask, gloves and dark clothing and entered the iWireless store at a San Marnan Drive strip mall about 15 minutes before closing time on Nov. 25, 2015.
The lone employee said the robber opened a coat to reveal a large knife inside, but defense attorney Ted Fisher said the store’s security tape didn’t show a knife.
Prosecutor James Katcher said that while the tape didn’t show a knife, it showed the robber reaching toward the chest as if opening the coat. He also noted that Wanchanic had given a neighbor her set of kitchen knives after learning that police were talking with the woman who gave her a ride to the store before the robbery.
First-degree robbery carries a 25-year prison sentence, and sentencing will be at a later date. She remains in custody until then.