3 teens charged in pair of Minneapolis robberies

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that three teenagers have been charged by petition in connection with two early morning armed robberies.

A 17-year-old from St. Paul is charged with first-degree robbery in the first Jan. 16 case and a 16-year-old from St. Paul has been charged with first-degree robbery in a second case. The 16-year-old was also charged with possession of a pistol while under the age of 18. Additionally, a 17-year-old from Minneapolis has been charged with first-degree robbery in the second case and attempting to flee a police officer in a motor vehicle.

According to the juvenile petitions, at about 3:45 a.m., the suspects drove to the 2600 block of Pillsbury Avenue South, in the Lowry Hill East neighborhood. There, they saw a man sitting in his car in the area. The 17-year-old from St. Paul pointed a gun at him and told the man to open the car door. When the man refused, the 17-year-old handed the gun to one of his companions, who proceeded to tell the man to open the car door or he would shoot him.

The man complied, but the suspects shoved him to the ground and took his wallet, a backpack and $200 in cash, the petition states. The victim saw them get into a vehicle and drive south.

Police: 4 juveniles arrested after aggravated robbery in Minneapolis

About 10 minutes later, another man was getting out of his car with his son in the 3500 block of Stevens Avenue South when he saw a black Audi Sport Utility Vehicle driving in a zig-zag pattern down the street toward him. The SUV stopped by the victim, and the 16-year-old and 17-year-old from Minneapolis pointed pistols at him and took the cellphone from his hand. According to the petition, as they drove away, the victim collected most of the license plate number to report to police.

Minutes later, police saw the SUV at the gas pumps at the BP station at 46th Street and Nicollet Avenue South and attempted to box it in. The 17-year-old from Minneapolis, who was driving the vehicle, accelerated forward and tried to swerve around a squad car. Instead, he ran into a concrete barrier and four people jumped out and started to run. They were quickly captured, according to the petition.

A handgun was found next to the 17-year-old from Minneapolis. The Audi was reported carjacked in St. Paul at about 3:25 a.m. and that case is still under investigation. Charges against a fourth juvenile have been deferred pending further investigation.

Prosecutors said they’re seeking to have the three teens certified as adults.