The three teenagers arrested in the investigation of a string of Omaha robberies, committed within a five-and-a-half hour time frame Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, will be tried as adults for eight counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine told Channel 6 News the suspects, identified as 16-year-olds Baling Dat and Nhial Wuol and 17-year-old Gach Thichiot, are expected to make their first court appearance Friday morning. A fourth suspect is still at large.
Police made the arrests Wednesday afternoon. Detectives located a suspect vehicle from the robberies in the area of 47th and Jaynes. The suspects fled and a foot pursuit followed. The police helicopter helped with the search and the three were caught.
The case involves nine robberies and one attempted robbery across Omaha Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
In most of the holdups, committed between 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 1 a.m. Wednesday, the victims were on foot and were approached by two to four young men who got away with wallets, phones and other personal items. In all 9 of the robberies, the suspects took phones. There were also reports of assault.
Some victims reported seeing the suspects in a silver or blue sedan. Following the foot pursuit, a vehicle was towed and another was being searched.
A gun was displayed in many of the incidents. Police are trying to determine how many of the robberies were related.
Marc Cubrich was one of the victims. He was robbed when he was walking back to his dorm near 23rd and Chicago.
"Yeah I was actually walking up this sidewalk here, they passed me on the left, I looked back and a man was approaching me," said Cubrich.
He said they demanded his cell phone, and asked about his wallet and backpack. Cubrich lied to the crooks, telling them he didn't have a wallet. They left, but before leaving Cubrich recalls these words, "And they said don't look at us we have guns we will shoot you."
Channel Six also spoke with one victim's husband, Michael Geiler, who said a man came up to his wife while leaving the Starbucks at 72nd and Dodge. She was at the Starbucks for a Bible Study. He said the suspect pulled out a pistol and left with his wife's purse, credit cards, iPad, and cell phone. He said they immediately canceled the credit cards and locked the phones, but did notice the suspects bought gas at a local gas station.
Geiler said he is relieved his wife is okay, but upset that it makes them feel less safe. "She'll have that sense of wanting to look behind her shoulder and make sure the area's safe -- its an event or image that won't leave her," he said.
The robberies began on Park Avenue and extended west all the way to 72nd Street.
If you have any information regarding the robberies please contact Omaha police at 402-444-5652.