Three teenagers, ages 13, 15 and 17, have been arrested and charged in connection to a string of armed robberies and attempted carjackings that happened Wednesday in Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County, police said.
D.C. authorities said the boys, all from District Heights, Maryland, were apprehended with help from Prince George’s County police. The 13-year-old and the 15-year-old were charged in relation to eight offenses that took place between 4 a.m. and just before 12:40 p.m. in Northeast and Southeast D.C.: four armed robberies, two attempted armed carjackings and two assaults with intent to commit robberies.
In each case, the boys allegedly approached the victims while armed with a gun and demanded their property before fleeing the scene in a vehicle, D.C. police said.
The 13-year-old has also been charged with five armed robberies that occurred between 11:20 a.m. and just after 1:30 p.m. on the same day in Prince George’s County, police said. The 17-year-old was charged in connection to two of those robberies. They are facing those charges as juveniles, authorities said.
The teenagers were arrested after a police pursuit that ended on Suitland Parkway at Sheridan Street in Southeast D.C., Prince George’s County police said.
D.C. police said a BB gun, as well as the car the suspects were using, were recovered. Authorities said that vehicle had been reported stolen the night before from the 700 block of Girard Street NW.
The 13-year-old and the 15-year-old were also charged in relation to that robbery. The 17-year-old was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
Prince George’s County police said they had previously arrested the 13-year-old boy last November and charged him with a gun offense. Details on his legal status in that case were not immediately available.
The arrests were made the same day officials from those jurisdictions announced they will work together and share information to reduce violent carjackings that they said are being committed by kids as young as 12.
“Our jurisdictions are working together to address disturbing spikes in gun violence, specifically as it relates to carjackings,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said during a news conference Wednesday. “We are particularly concerned about how many young people are involved in these crimes.”
During the news conference Wednesday, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee expressed frustration with the high number of teenagers involved in carjackings.
“Over 100 kids in the District of Columbia arrested for carjacking,” he said. “Over 100 kids arrested in Prince George’s County for carjacking.”
“Let me tell you something: Playtime is over. This is not a video game,” Contee said.
Officials from D.C. and Prince George’s also called on courts, prosecutors and legislative bodies to do more to hold young people accountable. But when pressed by reporters to show data that juveniles who have been arrested once and released are out on the streets committing more carjackings, they were unable to do so.