DALLAS — Dallas Police and the FBI have taken down a large carjacking ring.
Police say the robbers were stealing everything from Chargers to SUVs at gunpoint.
In court documents police say the suspects videotaped themselves inside the stolen cars. One of them bragging to his friend, “I got you a better Chrysler.”
”Obviously taking a crew off the streets will save a victim from today, tomorrow, next week,” said Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia.
Police say the suspects were all teenagers and they were brazenly pulling up to people pumping gas or just walking to their vehicles.
So far, they’ve been connected to 14 robberies
“As I have said, oftentimes 100 robberies aren’t committed by 100 different people. We had four individuals in this case that were committing robberies and car-jackings throughout our city,” said Chief Garcia.
In one of the robberies, court documents state the suspects told a victim, “get down or I’m gonna smoke you.”
In another one the suspect told the victim to “ lay down on his stomach and throw his keys on the ground.”
One instance documented in the affidavit details a robbery which took place Aug. 1. The report details that the suspects robbed a 2007 Chrysler 300 from a QT off Thornton Freeway. The victim had left his vehicle to go into the store and when he got back, a black sedan pulled up behind him and two of the suspects ran up to him with a handgun and demanded everything he had and the keys to is vehicle.
After they left with his car, the report states, the victim called the police. Officers investigating the theft later found the suspect advertising the car for sale on Instagram in exchange for guns.
Dallas Police say when they arrested the suspects they confiscated their cellphones and found evidence of them planning some of the robberies.
These are text messages between the suspects found in court documents:
“aye g we gon du sum 2nite?” “mb bro already dit one. Law’s catching on.”
When police raided their homes on Monday they found guns and drugs.
They say the suspects were trying to trade some of the vehicles for weapons.
Chief Garcia says his department has been focused on car-jackings, robberies and other violent crimes.
He says, while robberies of individuals are up less than 1%, arrests like these will help reduce the numbers.
Already this year, he says violent crime is down nearly 4%, and the numbers are trending down.
”At the end of the day we had the safest third quarter in June, July, August and September than we’ve had in this city when it comes to violent crime for five years,” said Garcia.
Sources say this carjacking ring is possibly part of a larger operation that the department and the FBI are determined to bring down.