A 13-year-old girl from New Orleans is accused of teaming up with three adults to commit a series of armed robberies in St. John the Baptist Parish Tuesday night, according to authorities.
The foursome’s “mini-crime wave” ended after a car chase into St. Charles Parish – with an 8-year-old boy in tow, according to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“They inflicted physical and emotional pain on victims who were going about their daily lifestyles,” Sheriff Mike Tregre said in a statement released Thursday.
Arrested were Reiontae Ward, 18, of New Orleans, Develyn Smith, 24, of Reserve, and Byron Green, 39, of New Orleans. The 13-year-old girl was not named because she is a juvenile.
The robberies began about 7:40 p.m. in the 100 block of Riverside Drive in Reserve. A boy, 14, was standing outside his home using his iPhone when he noticed a sport utility vehicle drive up, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The 13-year-old girl got out of the SUV wearing a black-hooded shirt and ordered the boy to turn over his phone and belongings. The girl brandished a pistol, pointed it at the boy and hit him in the mouth, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The boy then handed over his phone and cash. The girl got into the vehicle, which sped off, according to authorities. The boy refused medical treatment.
About 20 minutes later, the group struck again in the parking lot of a large strip mall in the 300 block of West Airline Highway in LaPlace, the Sheriff’s Office said.
A woman, 41, was sitting inside her vehicle with the engine running when the 13-year-old walked up to driver’s-side window, pointed a gun and ordered her out of the vehicle. The woman, instead, drove off.
The group selected a third target, a couple in the 200 block of Somerset Road in LaPlace, the Sheriff’s Office said. The couple had just gotten out of their vehicle about 8:45 p.m. when the 13-year-old girl and a woman later identified as Smith walked up.
Once again taking the lead, the girl pointed a gun at the couple and demanded their property, authorities said. The girl pistol-whipped the female victim, 70, when she refused to hand over her purse, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Smith, meanwhile, took on the 60-year-old husband, attacking him, according to authorities. Smith and the girl managed to take the couple’s belongings and fled the scene.
The couple was taken to a local hospital for treatment of their injuries and later released, the Sheriff’s Office said.
By then, local authorities were on the lookout for the SUV, which had been reported stolen out of New Orleans, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies spotted the vehicle on Main Street at Woodland Drive in LaPlace and tried to make a traffic stop.
But Ward, who was behind the wheel, refused to pull over, the Sheriff’s Office said. She led deputies and State Police on a chase eastbound on Interstate 10 before heading onto Interstate 310 in St. Charles Parish.
The chase continued over the Hale Boggs Bridge and onto the West Bank. It ended on the Highway 3127 off-ramp where Ward stopped the SUV and ran into the nearby marsh, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Authorities, including St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, detained the 13-year-old, Smith and Green. Smith’s 8-year-old son had been in the SUV the entire time, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies released him into the custody of his grandmother.
Ward eventually came out of the marsh, and she, too, was arrested.
- The 13-year-old girl was booked with two counts armed robbery with a firearm, simple burglary – motor vehicle and attempted carjacking. She was also arrested a fugitive wanted on a juvenile probation warrant from the New Orleans Police Department. The girl was transferred to the New Orleans Juvenile Center.
- Ward was booked with two counts armed robbery with a firearm, attempted carjacking, illegal possession of stolen things and aggravated flight from an officer by vehicle. No bond has been set.
- Smith was booked with two counts armed robbery with a firearm, improper supervision of minor by parent/legal custodian, attempted carjacking, simple burglary – motor vehicle and two counts contributing to the delinquency of juveniles. No bond has been set.
- Green was booked with two counts armed robbery with a firearm, attempted carjacking, and simple burglary – motor vehicle. No bond has been set.