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WCCO Radio personality Roshini Rajkumar was among the trio’s alleged victims when she was robbed at gunpoint Sunday evening when visiting a friend.

Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

3 teens arrested in weekend-long robbery spree in south Minneapolis

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON
  • Star Tribune
  • February 4, 2013 - 9:42 PM

Three juveniles were arrested on suspicion of a dozen random armed street robberies in south Minneapolis that began Friday and stretched through the weekend.

The suspects' names were not available because of their ages -- 14, 15 and 16 -- said Sgt. Bill Palmer on Monday. The three were arrested Sunday, but none has been charged.

Palmer said the three allegedly committed a 13th robbery without a gun.

The unusually extensive spree started at 11:30 p.m. Friday and ended with the final assault at 7:05 p.m. Sunday, Palmer said. The three sought cellphones and cash when they approached victims in the Uptown, Kenwood, Phillips, downtown and East Isles areas of the city. One robbery occurred on Minnehaha Parkway.

In another, a woman jogging alone was robbed of her cellphone, the only thing she carried, Palmer said.

When the three were arrested, police found a replica handgun. "It doesn't make any difference under the law if it's real -- only if the person they used it on thought it was real," Palmer said.

Palmer said some of the stolen items were recovered when the teens were captured and none of the victims was injured.

Among the victims was Roshini Rajkumar, a WCCO Radio personality, former TV reporter and communications business owner. Rajkumar said that on Sunday she had parked on the street near a friend's Lake of the Isles home where she was to have dinner. She said two young men followed her from the street onto her friend's driveway and then up the stairs toward her friend's house.

Rajkumar said one man's face was hidden under a winter mask and the other carried a gun and told her to hand over her purse. "They started talking to me and it was surreal," she said. " I was like, 'No, you don't want to do this.'"

She said she continued to back up the stairs. "They seemed young and scared. It almost felt like I could have talked them out of it," Rajkumar said. But then, "It just dawned on me they could actually use the gun."

The reporter said she handed over her purse and ran up the stairs to call police. The incident occurred about 6:30 p.m. Rajkumar's wallet and purse were recovered, but her cellphone and $6 had been taken.

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 Twitter: @rochelleolson

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