Lakewood police have arrested three teenagers suspected in a series of eight robberies and assaults in the Tacoma area this week that included attacks on three ride-share drivers.
Between Monday and Wednesday, the alleged robbers attacked eight people and stole vehicles and other property in incidents reported in Tacoma, Lakewood and University Place, according to a Thursday news release from Lakewood Police Department. Police said the suspects were teenagers, and their victims ranged in age from 23 to 78. In one incident, police said a group of eight to 10 people tried to steal a car from a man at a Walmart in Lakewood, but they fled when officers showed up.
Four of the robberies occurred at a Walmart in the 7000 block of Bridgeport Way Southwest. Police said several of the suspects returned there Thursday night, and officers doing surveillance took two boys and one girl into custody who were between the ages of 14 and 17.
Police were looking for other suspects, and they cautioned people to be aware of their surroundings. Lakewood police shared videos of the robberies and asked anyone with additional information to contact the department at 253-830-5078.
The first incident occurred at about 3:45 a.m. Monday in the 7200 block of South Tacoma Way. Police said a 48-year-old Lyft driver was assaulted and his vehicle was stolen.
Later that morning, police said the suspects went to the Lakewood Walmart twice, stealing a purse from a 66-year-old woman and a backpack from an 18-year-old man. Police said the suspects — described as a “large group of males” — also tried to take the man’s car keys.
Police also suspect that two people involved in those robberies attacked a 78-year-old man Monday afternoon at Kobayashi Park in University Place. The man’s vehicle was stolen, but it was later found abandoned in Tacoma.
The same two suspects are believed to have been involved in assaults on two ride-share drivers Tuesday in Tacoma. An Uber driver and a Lyft driver were attacked and had their vehicles stolen, according to the release. Police said a firearm was displayed in one incident, and the suspects hit the Lyft driver with his vehicle when they fled.
On Wednesday, police said a group of four people assaulted a 23-year-old woman and stole her car. During the robbery, police said the victim jumped on the hood of her car to try to stop the theft, but the robbers drove off, throwing her to the pavement. Police said she was transported to an area hospital to be evaluated for her injuries.