Two Twin Cities men and a teenage boy are facing multiple felony charges in connection with a south metro armed robbery spree that ended only after the trio allegedly crashed a stolen vehicle into a police cruiser.
Daiquawn Michael Burrell-Smith, 21, of St. Paul; Jared Otha Washington, 27, of Minneapolis, and a 17-year-old Minneapolis boy were charged in Dakota County District Court on Friday with three counts each of aggravated robbery, one count of attempted robbery, four counts of assault and one count of burglary. All are felony-level offenses.
“This was a series of violent crimes which terrorized four separate victims,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a prepared statement.
The saga began Wednesday afternoon when a white vehicle was stolen at gunpoint in Minneapolis. The car was spotted in four separate armed robberies that night in Apple Valley, Burnsville and Eagan.
Just before 5 p.m., Apple Valley officers were dispatched to a business near Cedar Avenue after a man reported being robbed in the parking lot. Two suspects entered the victim’s parked car, pointed handguns at him and demanded his cellphone, keys and wallet — then fled in a white vehicle.
At 6:10 p.m., a white car carrying three males pulled alongside someone walking in Eagan. Two men jumped out of the back seat, pulling guns and knocking the victim to the ground, according to the criminal complaint. They sped off after stealing the person’s cellphone and wallet.
Fifteen minutes later in Burnsville, a woman inside her vehicle was suddenly flanked by two men who attempted to pry open the locked doors.
“One armed individual tapped on the driver’s window with a handgun and told the victim he would kill her if she did not get out,” according to the criminal complaint. She laid on the horn and they scattered in a white car.
Shortly after that, the suspects reappeared in Apple Valley and slowly followed a man to his home. As he parked in his garage, two armed men approached him from behind and snatched his phone and keys, authorities said. The items were returned to him when a third man intervened, instructing the others to return what they’d taken. All three men left together.
One of the earlier victims activated a tracking device on his stolen cellphone, helping police locate the suspect vehicle in a nearby Home Depot parking lot. When the driver caught sight of officers, he accelerated the wrong way and struck a marked patrol car blocking his escape route.
All three passengers were arrested. A loaded handgun fell out of the teen’s waistband during the arrest, authorities said.
According to the complaint, a search of the vehicle turned up three additional handguns, one of which was loaded. Two of the recovered firearms had been reported stolen last month in Nashville. The car also held belongings reported stolen earlier that day.
Washington recently lived in Nashville. He faces additional charges of theft and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.
Judge Mark Vandelist set bail for both adults in the amount of $500,000 without conditions ($250,000 with conditions).
The teenager was also charged with one count of possession of a firearm of an ineligible person under the age of 18. Prosecutors have filed a motion to charge him as an adult.