5 teens arrested and charged in robberies, carjackings; one tied to viral video incident

Police have arrested and charged five teens in a spree of robberies and carjackings across D.C.

In a news release, police said the group of teens were arrested Tuesday evening after crashing a stolen car while fleeing an attempted robbery.

Officials said a D.C. police helicopter tracked the stolen car as the driver drove “erratically” through the city before the crash.

The teens were then arrested.

Police said the earlier attempted robbery involved two victims and occurred about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 700 block of 12th Street Northeast.

The teens in custody include three from Northeast: a 13-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, as well as a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy, of Southeast D.C. All are charged with assault with intent to rob, as well as the unauthorized use of a vehicle.

In addition, the 13-year-old girl was charged in connection with four incidents in the past week, including theft, robbery and unarmed carjacking — the last of those was an Aug. 28 carjacking incident in Northeast D.C. that was captured on video and involved one of the suspects wielding a golf club.

Police say these cases are under investigation and are offering the standard reward of $10,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for violent crime incidents.

Getting tougher on young people charged with violent crimes

Speaking at a separate and unrelated news conference earlier Wednesday, U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves suggested his office would be looking to crack down on some violent crimes involving young people — even though his office does not generally prosecute juveniles.

“A majority of the individuals arrested for robberies and a super majority of the individuals arrested for carjackings are juveniles,” Graves said. “In general, our office does not have a role in prosecuting juveniles for armed robberies, and consequently armed carjackings. We do, though, have the ability to charge 16 and 17-year-olds as adults.”

He added, “We agree with many of our elected leaders who believe that juveniles should generally be treated as juveniles. But armed robberies and armed carjackings are serious offenses that we have unfortunately seen recently sometimes escalate to homicides.”

While noting that it’s not often someone gets arrested for one armed robbery or carjacking, “where law enforcement believes that a 16 or 17-year-old has engaged in a spree of armed robberies or a pattern of armed robberies,” Graves said that he has instructed career supervisors to strongly consider charging such 16 and 17-year-olds as adults.

“Sprees and patterns are not the impetuous crime of a juvenile who temporarily lost control. They are the calculated crime of someone who is willing to threaten a life for money or property,” Graves said, adding that there will be “severe consequences for such conduct.”

Graves said his office has the authority to do that under a memorandum of understanding with the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, an agreement he said predates his tenure as the top federal prosecutor in the District.

WTOP has reached out to D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb for comment.

“My recent instruction was an affirmation of the principle of … I view these pattern and spree robberies as falling within the carve-out that we’ve had for individuals who have engaged in a pattern of conduct,” Graves said.

WTOP’s Jack Moore contributed to this report.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

David Andrews

No stranger to local news, David Andrews has contributed to DCist, Greater Greater Washington and was fellow at Washingtonian Magazine. He worked as a photo/videographer for University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

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