Charges have been filed in what state prosecutors described as two “unrelated and equally terrifying” robbery sprees targeting stores and ride-share drivers and passengers covering more than 80 incidents across the Baltimore region.

The cases include armed robberies and carjackings, and 11 people have been arrested so far, Chief Deputy Attorney General Candace McLaren Lanham said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Several officials, including Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley and the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office Special Agent William DelBagno stood by her side.

Investigators from the office’s organized crime unit worked with city and county police, local state’s attorneys’ offices and the FBI, she said. The carjackings, the robberies and kidnappings were deliberately planned, and the indictments illustrated “the importance of stopping the flow of illegal arms” into streets, Lanham said.

The robberies in the first case happened between November 2023 and January. Five people aged 17 to 20 are charged with armed robberies and motor vehicle thefts in Baltimore, Baltimore County and Howard County.

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Corey Sabb Jr., a 19-year-old from Baltimore, faces 155 counts, including for participating in a criminal organization; Dewayne Sanders, 20, faces 245 counts of various criminal offenses; and Allen Hill, 18, faces 76 counts. Two 17-year-olds are being charged as adults, one with 251 counts, the other with 94 counts. It was unclear Wednesday if any of those charged had attorneys.

Prosecutors said the group started the spree with delivery drivers, then began robbing convenience stores and pizza places, and often used handguns and assaulted people. In one instance, prosecutors said, one of the people grabbed the store clerk by her ponytail and forced her to open the register.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, joined by police and prosecutors from the Maryland Attorney General's Office, announced the arrest of 11 people charged with more than 80 crimes around the Baltimore Region, July 10, 2024.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, joined by police and prosecutors from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, announced the arrest of 11 people charged with more than 80 crimes around the Baltimore Region, shown here on July 10, 2024. (Clara Longo de Freitas/The Baltimore Banner)

DelBagno, the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office special agent in charge, called one of the robberies sprees “staggering,” saying the group methodically planned their crimes.

“Your age does not excuse the violent crimes that are committed,” he said.

Prosecutors described the robberies as unfolding like this:

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One person approached the store clerk pretending they were going to buy something with cash. When the clerk opened the register, others took their guns out and asked the clerk to hand over the cash or the entire drawer, threatening to kill the clerk.

The second spree of robberies took place throughout November and December of 2022 around Baltimore and Baltimore County. Six teens ages 16 to 19 were charged in connection with at least 40 incidents, including 16 armed carjackings, 21 kidnappings, 23 armed robberies and a home invasion. One of the teens was also charged with forcible rape.

The group usually ordered an Uber or a Lyft, then threatened the driver with guns. Some of the drivers were forced into the trunk or back seat, prosecutor said. The group then used the driver’s account to accept trips and robbed or kidnapped the riders, prosecutors said. Some of the drivers were shoved in the back seat for hours, officials said. The group also used ATM, banking apps and Cash App to obtain or transfer money from victims’ accounts to those controlled by the organization, prosecutors said.

In one instance, they picked up a rider, kidnapped them and drove to an ATM to withdraw money.

In November 2022, amid a streak of carjackings of Uber rides, the company issued a statement saying, “The safety of riders and drivers is paramount at Uber” and called the reported thefts “deeply concerning.”

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“We encourage riders and drivers to cancel trips if they don’t feel safe and remind riders to always double check the details of their ride — car make and model, driver name and photo, and license plate — before getting in,” an Uber spokesperson said in the statement. “We have a 24/7 team standing by to help with police investigations, and we look forward to supporting Baltimore area law enforcement however we can.”

Scott said parents should speak up if they see signs their children may be involved in organized crimes.

“Don’t wait till your child is indicted,” he said.

This story has been updated.