Editor’s Note: The video above references a carjacking mentioned in the story below.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found teens arrested this week in a carjacking ring already have records in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, and they were on the streets even though their records show charges for crimes filed only days ago.
Tuesday, Cleveland police announced they had arrested 3 teens, and they said they suspected many others in dozens of carjackings and car thefts.
Some victims were even shot and wounded.
The I-Team reviewed the criminal history for a 14-year-old suspect.
It shows last week he was charged with aggravated robbery in one case and theft in another.
He was also charged with aggravated robbery in December.
The record for a 17-year-old suspect shows, back in January, prosecutors filed weapons charges against him.
He also has prior cases for assault and abduction.
Meantime, the record for a 16-year-old suspect shows prior cases for burglary, theft, and aggravated robbery.
For months, people in Cleveland and surrounding towns have been terrorized by carjackings.
This week, a variety of city detective units worked together to begin rounding up suspects.
Police have said as many as ten suspects may be to blame for 30 cases involving crimes such as stolen cars, carjackings, shootings, and other assaults.
Officers, dispatchers, and even City Council members have complained police could have made more arrests long before now, but police supervisors have repeatedly told officers not to chase suspects in stolen vehicles.
This week, the I-Team revealed police video and recordings from a chain of events in Tremont after a man and his wife were carjacked at gunpoint as robbers stole their Mercedes.
In that case, officers spotted the stolen car and were ordered not to chase it.
A private company tracked the stolen vehicle through a GPS system, but the victims told police the company would not shut down the engine electronically unless officers had a warrant.
Once tracking showed the car had been parked, a dispatcher told the victims that police had no officers to send to the location where the car had been left.
The dispatcher said at that time, a violent crash had just happened involving a wrong-way driver on the freeway that tied up officers.
The victim could be heard telling dispatch he would go get the car himself if police would give him a gun and a bulletproof vest.
Cleveland police have defended their policy of not chasing suspects even after violent crimes citing the safety of citizens and officers.
The suspects just arrested are now being held in the juvenile detention center as their cases begin to move through Juvenile Court.
Investigators are working to round up more suspects.