Police arrest teens in violent pepper spray robberies targeting women in Plantation

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested two teens connected to a string of violent robberies that targeted female shoppers in Plantation.

Plantation Police arrested 18-year-old Erica Abraham, charging her with carjacking, robbery, and aggravated battery on a person over the age of 65. They also arrested a 16-year-old who police did not identify. They are still, however, looking a third suspect, who they believe is a young man, possibly a juvenile..

Abraham’s bond was set at $250,000, and is still in jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

Abraham, a high school senior, and the 16-year-old are believed to be involved in several robberies, where they targeted women who were shopping alone.

In one robbery on Jan. 18, police said, surveillance cameras captured 73-year-old Sydney Reidel driving into her gated community in Plantation, followed by what appears to be a Nissan Altima. Police said Abraham and two other suspects followed Reidel from Publix.

Police said that Abraham and another suspect drove past the guardrail and into the back bumper of Reidel.

When Reidel stepped out of her car to check for damage, police said, Abraham and her accomplice pepper-sprayed her and attacked her.

“You go to Publix or you to go to a shopping center, you come back into your gated community and you expect, ‘OK, I’m going home,'” Reidel’s husband Al said. “Bang, punched her in the face the first time, and then punched her again, so her nose is all blown up … and she fell down.”

The suspect then jumped into Reidel’s Hyundai. “And the guy got in the car and sped off,” Reidel’s husband said.

“You have to live your life now as if something’s gonna happen to you,” Al said.

Police said they are investigating five robberies at Publix’s across Broward County and believe Abraham and two other suspects are responsible for all of them.

One woman in Dania Beach was also pepper-sprayed, punched in the face and had her phone stolen.

The four other robberies happened in Plantation.

The first robbery happened on Jan. 15, as a 61-year-old woman loaded groceries into her car outside a Publix store in Plantation. Police said a black Nissan pulled up behind her. The woman was then pepper sprayed as the robbers stole her purse, an iPad and $1,200. The woman said her car was later stolen from her driveway, but later recovered.

An hour after the first robbery, another woman had her purse stolen as she was pepper sprayed outside a different Publix location in the same city, according to police.

Over the three days in January, victims were attacked outside Publix locations in Plantation, Dania Beach, University Drive, Pine Island Road and Broward Boulevard.

Two days later on Jan. 17, two women reported that they had been attacked and robbed by a man and two women in a restaurant parking lot.

All of the reported robbery victims described a similar vehicle, which investigators describe as a black Nissan Altima with dark tinted windows.

When 7News stopped by Abraham’s home in Hollywood, a reporter found the work ID of another victim in a similar Plantation case. Abraham has not been charged in that case.

Prosecutors said in court that Abraham has a lengthy juvenile record, including similar violent acts.

If you have any information on any of these robberies and who the third suspect may be, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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