BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police have arrested six teenagers in connection to a string of “bump and run” style auto thefts that have been prevalent in the city recently.
Ava-joye Burnett reports authorities say there are still more suspects out there.
Last week, the commissioner convened a task force to investigate the incidents, which involved suspects intentionally rear-ending cars on the road and then carjacking them, police say.
“It’s absolutely scary. You don’t expect to get into a fender bend and somebody jumps out and takes your car,” said TJ Smith, Baltimore Police.
These carjackings have been happening all over the city. Police say the suspects deliberately bump into people’s cars and when the drive gets out of the car, that’s when everything goes downhill. Police say the teenagers would then take off with the victims’ vehicles, leaving them stranded.
Some of the brazen acts happened in the middle of the day.
“‘Cause most of the time, you hear crimes happening late at night. You don’t hear them happening in the daytime,” said Liz Myers.
“I think that’s always in the back of your head and you have to pay attention and not get out of your car for any reason at all,” said Joann Petillo.
Since the arrest of six individuals — 18-year-old Barry Diggs, 17-year-old Jaquan Bennet, 19-year-old Kenyawn Megginson, 19-year-old Jasmine Gerald and two 16-year-old males who police have not identified — there have been no additional reports of these style of vehicle thefts.
Diggs is charged with with auto theft and other theft related charges; Bennet is charged as an adult with several counts of armed robbery, handgun violations, assault, and more related charges; Megginson is charged with robbery, auto theft and other related charges; and Gerald is charged with theft and robbery.
Even after the arrests of the teens, police say their work isn’t over and they believe there are more suspects connected to the crime spree.
Police told WJZ the suspects would steal the cars for joy rides or to commit other crimes. The charges in these cases range from auto theft to handgun violations.
If you get into an accident and are concerned, police advise you to stay in the car and call 911.