A 17-year-old went on a violent crime spree earlier this month, shooting a man and robbing six victims in four separate incidents that took place in less than an hour in Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach, according to police reports.
Helena Roberts, of West Palm Beach, was charged as an adult and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on June 23, where she remains held without bond. She faces one count of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and a slew of other robbery and battery charges.
The 59-year-old Riviera Beach man who suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen “sustained extensive, reconstructive surgery to his intestines,” according to the report.
During all of the alleged crimes, Roberts was the passenger in a 2012 silver Kia identified at the scene of all four incidents, police said.
Police say Cornelius Harris, 21, drove that car, which also included a 12-year-old passenger. Victims identified Harris, Roberts and the child that June 8 afternoon. Harris was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail early June 9, where he remains held without bond.
It is unclear if the 12-year-old faces charges, but he is listed as a defendant with Harris and Roberts. The Palm Beach Post is not naming him because he is a juvenile.
West Palm Beach Police say Roberts shot the man on June 8 and took his phone and wallet as he was mowing his lawn, and then robbed a woman at a nearby bus stop before driving to West Palm Beach and robbing two sets of women in their teens and 20s of their cell phones, bags and food.
Roberts faces the following charges: one count of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm, five counts of robbery with a firearm, one count of robbery, one count of a delinquent in possession of a firearm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.
Here’s a recap of the June 8 crime spree, according to police records:
- About 10:20 a.m.: Police responded to a ‘shots fired’ call in the 3300 block of Avenue J in Rivera Beach. A 59-year-old man was doing landscaping work when a female robbed him of his phone and wallet. After he gave her the items, she shot him once in the stomach, according to a witness.
- About 10:25 a.m.: A woman flagged down an officer in the same area saying she had been robbed at gunpoint by a female in a silver car. The woman from the car pointed a gun at the woman and demanded she drop everything she had, which included a black purse and an iPhone.
- About 10:40 p.m.: West Palm Beach Police responded to an armed robbery on the 700 block of 37th Street. A 12-year-old girl and an 8-year old girl were walking home carrying bags of food and toys when a silver car pulled up next to them and demanded all of their possessions, which included a cell phone.
- About 11:20 a.m.: West Palm Beach Police responded to a pair of female cousins in their 20s who said they were robbed at gunpoint. Police said the two were walking on South Sapodilla Avenue near Clematis Street when a silver car pulled up and a young male got out of the car and “yanked” one of the women’s purses from her shoulder and grabbed her phone from her hand. A female then got out of the car and hit the other woman across the face with a gun and grabbed her phone. The male and female then got back into the car and drove south on Sapodilla Avenue. The two victims immediately went to the police department lobby, according to the report.
Roberts told police that she and Harris found a gun inside of a purse on Military Trail and Harris said he would keep it. She admitted to being on Avenue J in Riviera Beach and picking up the items the man threw on the ground, but denied shooting him.
Roberts also admitted to taking a purse from the woman at the Riviera Beach bus stop and then going to the West Palm Beach Post Office and taking two females’ iPhones.
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