Suspects plead not guilty to charges in East Side robbery case

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Four of five suspects charged in connection with three armed robberies on Milwaukee's east side entered their pleas on Friday, February 21st.

21-year-old Jeriel Rodriguez and 19-year-old Erik Tejada each face three counts of armed robbery -- while 18-year-old Abigail Baez and 17-year-old Mary Molale each face one count of armed robbery. All pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday. A fifth suspect has a future court date.

Milwaukee Police Capt. Aaron Rapp explained to FOX6 News how the crimes went down.

“In each of those cases, victims were approached while they were on foot acting as pedestrians on the sidewalk by multiple suspects who demanded valuables and displayed what appeared to be a firearm,” said Capt. Rapp.

The robberies occurred on Maryland Ave., Astor St. and Arlington Pl.

After the third robbery, a witness called police with a description of a vehicle used by the suspected robbers. Using that information, police were able to locate that vehicle, stop it, and take five suspects in custody — three men, one woman and a 17-year-old girl.

“Thieves are targeting cell phones, cash, on occasion credit cards but usually it’s the quick disposable items that can be used readily at stores or sold for a profit,” said Capt. Rapp.

Capt. Rapp says they found some of the victims’ property either in the vehicle or on the suspects. Police touted the citizen witness and work of the officers involved in the arrest.

Police are warning you to be always be aware of your surroundings, be in control of how much alcohol you consume, and if possible try to walk with a buddy.

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