Teens go on robbery spree, lead Kennewick police on car chase

Tri-City HeraldNovember 7, 2013 

— A group of teens who police say are responsible for five armed robberies in the last two days reportedly led officers on a car chase Wednesday night through Kennewick.

The three teens were arrested after spike strips blew out the tires on the car and a police dog was released to help apprehend the driver.

Austin L. Johnson, 18, Cameron D. Reeves, 18, and a 17-year-old male allegedly went on a robbery spree Wednesday that began at 8:30 p.m. at Fruitland Park, Sgt. Ken Lattin said. Police did not release the juvenile suspect’s name.

A 19-year-old man was walking near the park when he saw three teens standing near a car, Lattin said. One of them, wearing a red bandana and carrying a gun, approached the victim and demanded he empty his pockets.

The victim had nothing in his pockets and the group drove away.

About 20 minutes later, a suspect wearing a red bandana over his face pulled a gun and tried to rob the Tacos Jalisco food truck on West Fourth Avenue, Lattin said. The suspect left on foot after getting no money.

At 9:10 p.m. a male wearing a red bandana and another male entered the City Market on South Rainier Street, Lattin said. The pair stole money from the cash register and fled. The male with the bandana was carrying a gun.

Police believe the suspects then went to Tesero gas station on South Gum Street and two males robbed the store at gunpoint, Lattin said. The clerk was able to call 911 and give the dispatcher a description of the car the suspects left in.

Officers spotted the silver Mitsubishi Eclipse on Kennewick Avenue near Lyle Street, Lattin said. The driver tried to flee after seeing officers. He eventually hit a curb and blew out a front tire in the car.

The car fled from officers -- traveling no more than 20 mph due to the blown tire -- for another 20 minutes through Kennewick streets. Officers set spike strips and two other tires on the car popped.

The car then turned onto a dead end on South Waverly Street and the driver fled, Lattin said. The police dog was able to track the driver down and he was arrested.

The two other passengers were arrested without incident. It’s unclear which suspect was driving the car.

Police recovered evidence and a handgun that was thrown from the car during the chase, Lattin said.

Investigators believe the teens are also responsible for an armed robbery Tuesday night at Mr. E’s Food Mart, Lattin said. A male wearing a red bandana stole an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes from the store.

A Mitsubishi Eclipse was seen leaving the scene of the robbery.

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