High school athlete arrested in string of robberies


One of the players was arrested Tuesday night after football practice and police are making plans to talk to the other three teens today, Lawrence said. All four suspects are Clayton residents.

The first robbery happened on June 30 in the pedestrian tunnel under Clayton Road, near City Hall.

The next was reported July 9, followed by a third on July 10. Two more were reported Tuesday, Lawrence said.

In all five robberies, the suspects appear to have been driving around town looking for young boys who were walking alone and listening to iPods or talking on cell phones.

The suspects would drive past their victim, get out of their car and walk past the victim. They would then immediately turn around and punch the victim and knock him to the ground, Lawrence said.

In each case, the suspects told the victims, "Give me yo' shit," Lawrence said, and the victims handed over their iPods or cell phones.

The victims were males ages 12, 13 and 14. None of them was seriously injured.

Police got a break in the case on Tuesday when they received an e-mail from a resident who identified one of the suspects and gave officers a partial license plate to a black Ford Mustang, which was one of the cars associated with the robberies, Lawrence said.

After police arrested the first juvenile, they allegedly found all but one of the stolen electronic devices stashed in a backpack in his house. The backpack had also been stolen during one of the robberies, Lawrence said.

From that arrest, police were able to identify the three other teens they believe were involved and expect to make more arrests today.

Lawrence said the boy who was arrested told investigators that the teens had committed the robberies because the victims shouldn't have been walking alone with headphones on, oblivious to their surroundings.

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