Police bust teen carjacking ring with wild chase

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Five teenagers are behind bars after a violent, four day carjacking spree that ended Monday night in north St. Louis.  At least four people were robbed of cars at gunpoint, one was assaulted, and a seventy year old man’s scuffle with one of the teens led to a shot being fired. It all happened over a four day period.

The beginning of the end came Monday night as the group seemed to grow bolder.  They carjacked a man on Gasconade in south St. Louis.  He tried to fight off the attackers and was pistol whipped before they took his car.

The proceeded north in the stolen Saturn SUV, eventually coming to Jacob Street in north city.  There, police say they pulled the stolen SUV up to two women, four of the five men hopped out and stole the women’s Nissan, then they took off in a convoy.

Not long after that police spotted the stolen Nissan.  There was a chase that led to spikes being deployed to pop tires and West Florissant and Pope, then another mile of high speed pursuit that ended at Harney and Queens.  They ditched the car right outside Anthony Mapp’s house.

“We come outside and we had probably twenty police cars out here and there were guys that were running from the police and the police found them down the street,” Mapp said.

Other neighbors, who asked not to be identified, described the scene as being “like Beirut,” with officers and the suspects running between houses.  Cops were shouting to neighbors to take cover as they tried to determine what was doing on.

“The police told us we needed to go back inside because the guys had guns,” Mapp said.

All five were caught according to police, and they were heavily armed.

“We recovered four weapons out of a car they had car jacked and stolen, and a short foot pursuit after these guys bailed from the vehicle,” St. Louis Police Major Ronnie Robinson said.  “We were able to take them all into custody and get confessions out of these guys.”

Those confessions filled in holes back to April 25th, and included another carjacking as well as an attempted robbery of a seventy year old man pumping gas.  Police say he tried to fight back, scuffled with a suspect, and the thief’s gun went off in the process.  No one was hurt.

Now police are trying to determine if the group is responsible for anything else.

“Keep in mind these kids are young, they’re all teenagers and their criminal history is not very extensive at this point,” Robinson said.  “Their juvenile histories were really don’t know about at this point, but we’re looking into that as well.”

They are being looked at in connection to other crimes in St. Louis county and Illinois.  None of their names are being released until official charges are filed.