7 accused of committing knifepoint robbery spree

Suspects accused of robbing 6 in different parts of the city

From upper left to lower right: Joanna Brown, Duryl Hale, Elijah Wheeler-Watson, Keandre Roberts, and Renae Fraser. Image courtesy: Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Seven people who were allegedly riding around Springfield and robbing people at knifepoint were arrested Tuesday night.

According to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney, Elijah Jovann Wheeler-Watson, 18, Joanna Brown, 19, Renae S. Fraser, 21, Duryl Hale, 18, and Keandre Roberts, 18, as well as two juveniles (both 17 years old) are facing six counts of armed robbery following the crime spree.

Springfield police say the suspects were driving around town in this green Chevy Suburban. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department.
Springfield police say the suspects were driving around town in this green Chevy Suburban. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department.

Delaney says that the first robbery was reported near Greenleaf Park in Sixteen Acres at around 5:30 P.M. The victim told police that he was walking in the area when he was approached by seven people who robbed him at knifepoint; stealing his iPad and cell phone, before making a getaway in a green Chevy Suburban.

About a half an hour later, police were called to Malden Street in Forest Park, where two victims said that they too were robbed of their cell phones by seven people who drove away in a green Suburban.

About 10 minutes later on Sherman Street in Mason Square, police received a report about three people who were robbed as they were walking down the street. The victims reported having their cell phones and a gold necklace stolen by people armed with knives box cutters. The suspects then got away in a green Suburban.

All city officers were on the lookout for the car, which was spotted by some police detectives a few minutes later in the parking lot of the Walgreen’s pharmacy on State Street. The detectives began following the vehicle and called-in backup. Police surrounded the SUV near the corner of Wilbraham Road and Alden Street, and arrested the seven suspects.

Delaney says that officers found seven knives and box cutters, as well as the stolen electronic devices and jewelry. The six robbery victims all identified the suspects as the people who robbed them, and identified the SUV as the vehicle involved in the theft.

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