Two accused of taxi heists

LAWRENCEVILLE - A 15-year-old and 16-year-old were arrested Friday in connection with a string of four taxicab robberies that occurred earlier this month, according to police.

Both teenagers, whose names were not released because they are juveniles, face multiple counts of armed robbery, said Officer L.S. Shields of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

On Friday, police obtained a search warrant to enter the 16-year-old's residence in Norcross and arrested him. During a police interview, he allegedly told investigators he committed multiple armed robberies in the Norcross area. The boy also provided authorities with information leading to the arrest of his accomplice, a 15-year-old who also confessed to the crimes, Shields said.

Police believe the teenagers used a cell phone to call a taxi cab several times between April 1 and Tuesday. They allegedly ordered the driver to take them around town. At the final destination, one of the boys would brandish a handgun and demand the driver's money and cell phone.

In one of the incidents reported last weekend, a 40-year-old victim told police a customer had called him to pick up his friends. The driver picked the teenagers up at a residence on Liberty Hill Drive in Norcross, drove them to a T-Mobile store and returned them to the residence.

One of the young customers then pulled a gun on the taxi driver and told him to "give me money," a police report said. When the suspect saw the taxi driver didn't have much cash, he demanded his cell phone as well. Both customers fled on foot behind the house.

The victim described the suspects as 15 or 16-year-old light-skinned black males. He said one of them had short hair and braces, and the other had long black hair.

All total, the four robberies yielded more than $500 cash and four cell phones, Shields said. The teenagers reportedly profess to be members of the ABG criminal street gang, a subset of the Folks Nation gang.

Police were investigating whether the suspects could be involved in other armed robberies.