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‘Put the hair in a bag:’ Suspects charged in armed robberies of 4 Subways, salon

MILWAUKEE -- They're famous for their $5 footlongs, but a Milwaukee trio stands accused of making their mark on Subway with a five-finger discount. They are accused of robbing four Subway restaurants and a salon in Milwaukee in just three days. Those charged as adults are Arian Staten, 17, and Shatonia Saulsberry, 20. Each faces five counts of armed robbery as a party to a crime.

According to the criminal complaint, Saulsberry was the person who drove the vehicle that took Staten and another juvenile to the scenes where the crimes played out.

Shatonia Saulsberry

The first robbery happened on Monday, Sept. 17 at Glamour Salon on W. North Avenue. Staten told investigators his "cousin's ex-girlfriend wanted to get some hair and wanted him to rob the salon." Staten and another individual, a minor, who was armed with a BB gun, went to the salon and demanded that a worker "put the hair in a bag," the complaint says. After stuffing 50 packs of hair extensions valued at $5,000 into a duffel bag, they fled the scene with Saulsberry driving the getaway vehicle.

Their alleged crime spree quickly turned from locks to lettuce.

Later that same day, the complaint indicates two males entered a Subway restaurant near Mayfair Road and Capitol Drive "with white bandannas over their faces." One individual "pointed the gun at an employee and ordered her to open the cash register." The two suspects jumped over the counter, took the money and ordered a customer at the counter to give up his wallet. They fled the scene.

It was still Sept. 17 when the suspects allegedly robbed the Subway at 76th and Hampton. Again, the complaint indicates two males entered the restaurant "with white masks" over their faces. They allegedly ordered a customer to take out his wallet and place it on the ground. According to the complaint, they then told the customer to stand up, pushed a gun into his back, and told him to walk to the back of the restaurant. When the customer returned to the front of the store, his wallet was gone.

Arien Staten

The complaint says a third Subway restaurant near Capitol and Richards was robbed on Tuesday, Sept. 18. In this case, the complaint says the two males ordered a customer to the front of the store and "began yelling to the employees, 'give me the money or I'm gonna pop him.'" A worker opened the register, the suspects jumped over the counter, removed the cash drawer and exited the restaurant, the complaint says.

The crime spree ended on Wednesday, Sept. 19 when Wauwatosa and Milwaukee police were conducting surveillance on a vehicle believed to be involved in these crimes. Officers followed a car near a Subway restaurant near 92nd and Greenfield in West Allis. The vehicle slowly drove past the Subway, the complaint says. A squad car responding to another incident drove past the vehicle with its lights and siren on -- and the vehicle drove away.

Later on Sept. 19, the vehicle was seen at the Subway near 124th and North Avenue. Officers witnessed two men walk into the back of the restaurant "wearing masks." Officers then converged on the restaurant and took the individuals into custody. They were identified as Staten and a juvenile. Saulsberry, who was again driving the car, was also taken into custody.

The complaint says Staten told investigators they committed the robberies because "he needed money for clothes for school," indicating they "split all of the cash."

Saulsberry made her initial appearance in court on Sept. 25. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 3, and cash bond was set at $10,000.

Staten was also in court Tuesday for his initial appearance -- and cash bond was set at $20,000. He will also be back in court on Oct. 3 for his prelim.