16-year-old arrested for East Memphis driveway robbery

16-year-old arrested for East Memphis driveway robbery
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5 file)

(WMC) - A 16-year-old is behind bars after police say he fired his gun during an East Memphis driveway robbery.

There have been three other driveway robberies in the neighborhood in the month of August. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the 16-year-old may be connected to those robberies, too.

Margie Bell says she's resting a little easier these days, now that police made an arrest in her robbery. The longtime teacher's reaction was unusual.

"I'm sad that it's a teenager," said Bell. "I don't want him to mess his whole life up by making one bad, bad mistake."

Around 8:30 p.m. August 22, Bell saw a teen on a bicycle at Crabapple Lane and Quince Road.

"He jumped off the bike and came at me, wanted my purse. I couldn't get it off my arm fast enough," said Bell.

Police say the teen fired a shot and dragged Bell to the ground as he pulled her Louis Vuitton purse from her arm.

Bell's brother helped police track down the suspect.

"I used a program called Life360 and Find My iPhone," said Jim Welch.

A Memphis police investigator used records from Bell's stolen phone to narrow the search.

"He has worked endless hours. Calling me late at night, calling me in the morning. He has been working," added Bell.

Now, neighbors are on patrol.

"When we don't watch out for each other, that's when we fall apart," noted Welch.

Bell's advice: "Give them the purse or whatever immediately."

Meanwhile, the teen's mother, who did not want to share her name or show her face on camera, says the 16-year-old son is innocent.

"He didn't have anything to do with that because he was no where around that situation."

The mother says investigators have been unfair and police just want to close the case.

"He's 16 and them speaking to him without the presence of an adult, making me leave," added the mother. "They detained him. They're trying to try him as an adult."

WMC Action News 5 is not releasing the teen's name since he is being charged in juvenile court. He is charged with aggravated robbery, possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony, and theft.

Police are still investigating the other robberies.

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