CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “What we are seeing is madness. The availability of guns is out of control.” is how Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley began an update on a string of carjackings.
Four of the six were in Ohio City, one in the Tremont neighborhood and one in Lakewood.
He spoke in strong terms about the violence; a loosely organized group randomly terrorizing unsuspecting people.
Two of the teens were just 13 years old.
He played a surveillance video of a man going into a restaurant from a parking lot. It showed how fast they strike, quickly pointing a gun at the man.
The victim did the right thing. He threw his car keys to them. They fled and he was unhurt.
The last of the six carjackings is the one that put the cases on the fast track, according to Second District Commander Tom Stacho.
“Because of how this one unfolded, it didn’t involve just a robbery. It turned into a sexual assault and really a kidnapping where this young lady was held against her will,” he explained.
A 16-year-old is the one police believe committed the rape.
The four being arrested is good news.
Councilman Kerry McCormack stressed that Ohio City is safe and crime is trending down, but this is not a time to relax, according to Prosecutor O’Malley.
“My message to the citizens of all communities: ‘You always have to remain vigilant. You always have to look around. You always have to look at your surroundings no matter what city you live in,'” he stressed.
The motives for the carjackings are simple. Theft, not only of vehicles, but purses, IPhones, money, and at this time of year, holiday gifts.
O’Malley also sees a larger and more disturbing trend.
“We continue to see this dropping in age of those who are committing violent crimes and it’s tragic,” he explained, appearing visibly concerned by the trend.