Five teens arrested for rash of car thefts

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Five teenagers are in police custody Tuesday, suspected in a rash of recent car thefts, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said.

According to Leah Freeman, a police spokeswoman, two 17-year-olds, two 18-year-olds, and a 16-year-old were arrested late Monday night following a reported carjacking.

The first car theft occurred around 10 a.m. on April 25 in the 4700 block of Carter Avenue. Two men were sitting inside their vehicle when three suspects approached the car, pointed guns at the victims, and demanded they exit the vehicle. The suspects drove off in the car. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

The second incident took place April 26 around 4:30 a.m. in the 8800 block of N. Broadway. The victim, a 70-year-old man, was pumping gas when a suspect walked up to him, pulled out a gun and demanded money. The victim fought back and the two struggled over the firearm. A second suspect ran over and struck the 70-year-old victim in the head. The gun was fired during the struggle, and the two suspects ran off. The victim was not permanently injured and his vehicle was not stolen.

On April 27 around 4:45 p.m. in the 4900 block of W. Florissant, a suspect approached a young woman after she had parked her car on the side of the road and pointed a gun at her. The suspect drove off in her car. The victim was not harmed.

The fourth incident happened in the 2700 block of Gasconade at 11 p.m. on April 28, Freeman said. Like the previous incident, the victim had just parked his car and was exiting the vehicle when he was approached by two armed suspects. The pair demanded the victim's money, phone and car keys. At first the victim balked at their demands, but one of the suspects struck him in the head with the firearm. The suspects took the victim's keys and drove off in a 2008 Saturn Vue.

Around 11:15 p.m. that same evening, two people parked in the 8800 block of Jordan were approached by suspects in a grey SUV. The suspects displayed firearms and demanded the victims hand over the keys to their vehicle. Four of the suspects got in the victims' vehicle—a Nissan Altima—while the other suspect followed in the SUV.

Freeman said police received a description of both vehicles and a unit noticed the stolen car traveling westbound on Natural Bridge Road toward Spring. The suspects attempted to flee, prompting a police chase. Authorities deployed spike strips near Pope and W. Florissant, which blew out the suspect vehicle's front tire. The suspects continued on until abandoning the vehicle at Harney and Queens. All five were taken into custody a short time later.

The suspects have been identified as Andrew Smith, 17, Trevion Watts, 18, Hermann Jerrod, 18, and Michael Whitney, 17.


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