Four teenagers accused of committing a string of armed carjackings in southern Dallas were taken into custody Tuesday.
Anthony Garcia, 17; Sergio Ramirez, 18; Eduardo Castillo Sanchez, 19; and Alexander Castanon, 17, each face two counts of aggravated robbery, but Dallas police said they are tied to at least five armed carjackings “over the last few months.”
Ramirez’s attorney did not respond to request for comment. It was not clear whether the other three had attorneys.
According to an arrest-warrant affidavit, the group carried out some of the robberies at gas stations, such as one about 5:30 a.m. June 19 at a QuikTrip in the 500 block of South Zang Boulevard, near West Twelfth Street in north Oak Cliff.
The affidavit says a man driving a blacked-out 2018 Dodge Charger parked his car near a gas pump when two of the teens moved their car, a Nissan, to the pump next to him. The teens then got out, “displayed handguns” and began demanding the man’s property.
Surveillance video showed at least one other person remained in the Nissan and drove away as they took off in the Charger. Officers later found the Nissan, which had a stolen license plate, abandoned in the middle of a street; inside were another plate and a ski mask.
Later that day, the owner of the stolen Charger helped officers track down his car, but police said when officers attempted to perform a traffic stop, the car drove off so quickly they could not “safely keep up with them,” the affidavit says.
They found the car parked about 20 minutes later, and officers confiscated two phones from Ramirez, who police allege in the affidavit was the driver. A passenger in the car had a handgun with an extended magazine, drugs and another phone, the affidavit says.
Video on Ramirez’s phones showed him driving the stolen Charger at a “high rate of speed,” according to the affidavit.
In another instance, two of the teens, one wearing a ski mask, robbed a Lyft driver at gunpoint as he waited to pick up someone outside a north Oak Cliff apartment complex July 29, ultimately stealing his wallet, two cellphones and his Toyota Camry, the affidavit says.
Multiple people attempted to use the Lyft driver’s credit cards at a gas station and a donut shop, but were unsuccessful. Surveillance footage from those attempts, in addition to phone records, led police to Castanon, Garcia, Ramirez and Sanchez, the affidavit says.
A search of Sanchez’s phone provided proof of him planning a robbery with an unknown person, the affidavit says. In text messages, Sanchez told the person to wear all black and not text too much.
In one text exchange, police said, the other person asked if they were going to do something and Sanchez, apologizing, said he already had. “Law’s catching on,” he wrote, according to the affidavit.
All four teens were being held in the Dallas County jail Friday. Sanchez’s bail was set at $280,000, Castanon and Ramirez’s was $200,000, and Garcia’s was $150,000.