Three teens from St. Louis have been charged in connection with the wild crime spree Tuesday night that started with shoplifting from the South County Center.
Police say the trio is among a band of five that stole several pairs of jeans from the mall, punched a man in the face trying to take his car, stole a van and led police on a chase into the city before being captured.
A fourth suspect is a juvenile and remains in Family Court custody. A fifth suspect from the mall theft got away.
On Thursday, police announced that the following young men were charged:
* Jonathan D. Brown, 17, of the 900 block of Hamilton Avenue in St. Louis. He was charged with stealing $500 or more and resisting arrest. His bond is $10,000.
* Joseph Marquis King, 17, of the 4500 block of Maffitt Avenue in St. Louis. He was charged with attempted robbery in the second degree and stealing $500 or more. His bond is $15,000.
* Jeremy R. Grant, 17, of the 600 block of South Kingshighway in St. Louis. He was charged with stealing $500 or more. His bond is $10,000.
The stealing charge deals with the jeans. Police will seek warrants later for the car theft.
Here's the police account of what happened:
About 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, a mall security guard at South County Center chased five young men from the mall after they stole several pair of jeans from JC Penney. South County Center is at Lindbergh Boulevard and Lemay Ferry Road, near Interstate 55 and Interstate 270.
The men ran to a Jeep on the parking lot -- a Jeep, it turns out, they'd stolen earlier in the city. With a security guard closing in, they apparently couldn't get the Jeep started quickly enough, so they ran. They left the stolen jeans behind.
About 15 minutes later, a 26-year-old man on a nearby Office Max store parking lot was attacked. Two of the shoplifters apparently had run across Lindbergh and demanded the man's car keys. One of the shoplifters punched him several times in the face. The man fought back, and the attackers didn't get his car. Police arrested those two at an auto-sales lot in the 7400 block of South Lindbergh Boulevard, said County Police spokeswoman Tracy Panus.
Meanwhile, two of their accomplices managed to steal a minivan from the 3200 block of Bainburry Court, in a nearby subdivision. County police spotted the car and alerted the police helicopter with Metro Air Support. The helicopter tracked it north along Interstate 55 toward the city of St. Louis. The car wrecked in St. Louis, and police there captured two young men after a foot chase.
The victim who was punched in the face in the Office Max parking lot was treated at a hospital and released.