Five teens charged in string of east Charlotte armed robberies, - | WBTV Charlotte

Five teens charged in string of east Charlotte armed robberies, leading police on chase

Benitez Benitez
De La Cerda De La Cerda
Santiago-Flores Santiago-Flores
Aguilar Aguilar
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Five teenagers were arrested after they reportedly robbed several people at gunpoint and lead police on a chase Thursday night. 

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, the first armed robbery occurred around 5:11 p.m. in the 4100 block of Sudbury Road. The alleged victims told police they were approached by the men who demanded money and said they had a gun. Police say one of the men allegedly struck one of the victims before they all fled from the scene. 

Police then responded to reports of shots being fired into an apartment in the 2300 block of Eastway Drive around 7:41 p.m. Victims told officers they heard gunshots and saw pieces of their roof falling from the inside of their apartment. Officers found several shell casings in the parking lot and multiple bullet holes in the interior and exterior of the apartment. 

A second armed robbery then occurred around 7:45 p.m. in the 4500 block of Central Avenue. These victims told officers they were parking their vehicle when the teens pulled up behind them. The five suspects then reportedly got out of their vehicle and walked up to the victims with guns. The suspects demanded the victims' phones and money before fleeing from the scene, police said. 

CMPD later found the men in their vehicle in the drive-through line at a Wendy's restaurant at the intersection of Central Avenue and Eastway Drive around 9:30 p.m. Police tried to initiate a traffic stop but said the men fled and a chase began. 

A short time later, the men reportedly crashed at the end of Falmouth Road at Enfield Road, police say. Officers said the shell casings found earlier matched the same make and model as one of the gun's inside the men's vehicle. 

John Benitez, 18, Sergio Madrano, 19, Brandon Alexander De La Cerda, 19, Juan Christian Santiago-Flores, 19, and Jerry Aguilar, 18, were all charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling, five counts of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, six counts of armed robbery, six counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and possessing a stolen firearm. 

Benitez was also charged with assaulting a child under the age of 12.  De La Cerda was also charged with speeding to elude arrest, failing to heed and driving with a revoked license. 

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If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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