NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a group of teenagers accused of violently breaking into cars throughout Miami-Dade County for the last several months.
Surveillance video captured the group as they tried to break into cars in North Miami Beach, with one of the suspects armed with a gun.
“They were terrorizing our communities and using handguns, rifles, stun guns and pepper spray,” said North Miami Beach Police Chief Harvette Smith.
According to police, four of the seven suspects, raging in age from 16 to 18, were arrested Thursday after they terrorized people and committed more than a dozen crimes.
Six of the suspects were identified as Orlentz Nelson, 16; Joewens Bisainthe, 16; Derrick Austrie, 16; Jarmne Bradwell, 16; Ryan Sterlin, 18 and Rogens Lormil Joseph, 18.
Four of the seven suspects, police said, beat and robbed at least three people.
Sterlin appeared in bond court Friday afternoon.
“Mr. Sterlin, you were arrested for armed robbery with a weapon,” said Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer.
“This group of individuals have confessed to committing three armed carjackings, five armed robberies, five auto thefts and at least 18 vehicle burglaries,” said Smith. “They also committed an aggravated battery on an elderly victim.”
Earlier this month, police said, two of the teens carjacked an Uber driver in North Miami Beach. They took their car on a joyride and eventually crashed it into a police cruiser in Sunny Isles Beach.
7News spoke to 68-year-old Elaine Gowen after she left the hospital with a beaten face. She said she needed to have stitches in the back of her head.
“They hit me in the head with the butt of the gun. I have stitches and staples,” she said. “One of them had a stun gun, and he starts using the stun gun, and I was just trying to get him off. One of them pointed a rifle, you know, an automatic weapon straight in my face.”
The attack happened outside her home, near Northeast 172nd Street and 20th Avenue, as she was smoking.
Gowen said she tried to fight back, but her assailants eventually took off with her cellphone.
“I want to thank the police for catching them so quickly,” she said.
Now, the group are all behind bars facing felony charges.
Police said the group mostly targeted the northeast area of Miami-Dade, and it took multiple departments coming together to make the arrests.
“The task force was comprised of the City of North Miami Beach Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the City of North Miami Police Department and the United States Secret Service,” Smith said. “In addition, through shared intelligence, we’d also like to acknowledge the City of Miami Police Department and the City of Hollywood Police Department.”
All the police departments began working together back in June when they noticed an increase in violent robberies.
Three of the 16-year-olds who were arrested are due back in court in October.
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