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GARLAND (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Garland have arrested one of the people they say is responsible for assaulting a student and taking his cell phone. They’ve also learned new information in the investigation.
Robbers have been targeting students in Garland for their phones. The young victims were being attacked at a place where parents would hope their children would be safe – the bus stop.
Police say the suspect in custody is a 16-year-old boy. They believe he is responsible for the robbery that happened in the 1600 block of North Glenbrook.
There have been three cases this week alone of people stealing cell phones after assaulting kids either walking to or waiting at the bus stop.
The first case, for which the arrest was made, happened on Wednesday and involved a 13-year-old male victim. The other victims were 15 and 16 years old, one of them a girl, and had their phones stolen Thursday around 6 a.m.
In each case the robber/robbers approached the child, assaulted them and then took their phone. All of the crimes happened within a mile of each other.
Police say the robber or robbers committing the crimes are male and that a gun was reportedly used in at least one of the cases.
Mother Tiffany Goddbiss is worried for her son. “I’m thinking about giving him a little thing of mace because what else can he do? He can defend himself, but against a gun? No.”
Garland police have stepped up morning patrols in the northern part of the city and plan to monitor all bus stops.
Police Lieutenant Pedro Barineau said the department is taking the crimes very seriously. “Not only are they robbing our children and our communities, but they are armed. Our fear is that they actually might escalate to the point where they might kill somebody for their cell phone.”
Police believe the robbers are only targeting kids who have their cell phone visible. Children in the area are being reminded to keep their phone locked with a passcode and out of sight.
After making the arrest police say they believe different suspects committed the two robberies on Thursday. The search continues for those people. Anyone with information about the robberies or the suspects is asked to contact the Garland Police Department at 972-485-4840.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously at 972-272-8477 (TIPS), or online on the Garland Crime Stoppers website.
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