By Brian Livingston / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Several area juveniles are facing multiple offenses and have been charged as adults in connection with a string of auto burglaries and an armed robbery.
Capt. Dean Harper, commander of the Meridian Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division, said Thursday Ashley Alexus Lewis and Stantrez Grady, both 16, have been charged by MPD authorities with the Tuesday night armed robbery of a man that occurred in Highland Park. Harper said both of the teens were placed on $250,000 bond each.
"It is believed Lewis lured the victim to the park in order to set him up for the robbery committed by Grady and a third subject," said Harper. "We also believe the victim and Lewis met each other through a social networking site. We are actively searching for the third suspect at this time."
Grady has also been charged with felony eluding stemming from a car chase that occurred Wednesday in Meridian. This chase ended about 10 miles inside
Kemper County on Highway 39 North when the vehicle Grady and Lewis were in had a flat tire. Harper said the two were fleeing police after being involved in auto burglaries in the Briarwood Road and McKenzie Lane areas of northeast Meridian.
Harper said Lewis and Grady are facing charges of receiving stolen property because the vehicle they were in was also stolen from Meridian. Bond for those charges were set at $25,000 each for Lewis and Grady.
Authorities with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department are also charging Lewis and Grady, along with two other people, with multiple auto burglary charges. Maj. Casey McElhenney, commander of the LCSD's Criminal Investigation Division, said Thursday that Lewis, Grady, Deion Cole, 17, and Markeey Green, 17, are all charged as adults with 15 counts of auto burglary. The bond amounts on the county charges have yet to be determined.
McElhenney said the charges come from multiple reports of auto burglaries Wednesday from the Northeast Pine Drive, Cottonwood Drive, and Old Cobblestone Drive areas of Lauderdale County around the Briarwood area. McElhenney said much of the property reportedly stolen during this time has been recovered and returned to their rightful owners.
More individuals are being sought in connection with these incidents and more charges may be forthcoming, said officials.
Meridian Police are strongly cautioning the public about the use of social networking sites and young females who are luring men to local hotels and other locations in town to rob them.