Two accused in crime spree that involved breaking into vehicles at airport plead not guilty
MILWAUKEE -- Two teens accused in a crime spree that involved, among other alleged crimes, breaking into dozens of cars at General Mitchell International Airport have pleaded not guilty.
In court on Wednesday, February 17th, 17-year-old Paris Chambers was ordered to stand trial.
Chambers made his initial appearance in court on February 10th. A judge set bail at $7,500.
Prosecutors say Chambers was out on $500 bond when he and 18-year-old Earl Blackmon III allegedly damaged dozens of vehicles at the parking structure at General Mitchell International Airport -- and there were vehicles shot out across Milwaukee in separate incidents in this case.
Blackmon III was also in court on February 17th for his preliminary hearing. He also pleaded not guilty.
Blackmon III made his initial appearance in court on February 9th. A judge set bail at $5,000.
Blackmon III is facing the following charges:
Chambers faces the following charges:
According to the criminal complaint filed in this case, on January 22nd, officers were dispatched to a crash scene near 15th and Holt Avenue. A woman indicated her vehicle was struck by a vehicle as she proceeded through the intersection -- and two black males had fled from the striking vehicle. They were apparently picked up by another vehicle at the scene. A witness to the crash was able to identify one of those black males as Earl Blackmon III. The striking vehicle was eventually located by officers, and it was determined to have been stolen.
Also on January 22nd, the complaint says a crash occurred near 15th and Harrison. A woman indicated her vehicle struck a vehicle that had run the stop sign in the area. The woman told officer the vehicle she hit didn't stop -- and she followed it, eventually finding it abandoned. The complaint indicates Chambers and another individual were brought back to the crash scene by citizens, and it was determined they were two of the three people who ran from the vehicle following this crash. The vehicle that was hit in this case was determined to have been stolen.
Officers spoke with Blackmon III, who indicated he "didn't know how to steal a car" so he watched the third individual who was allegedly in the vehicle with Blackmon III and Chambers prior to the crash near 15th and Harrison, "pry open the window and use a flat head screwdriver in the ignition to start up the (car)."
Blackmon III allegedly told officials when they spotted the vehicle eventually involved in the crash near 15th and Holt, it was he who used the screwdriver to pry open the window and start up the vehicle. Blackmon III told investigators Chambers was with him for these two vehicle thefts that preceded these two crashes on January 22nd.
The alleged crime spree involving BB guns began on January 29th.
The complaint says on January 29th, officers were dispatched to the area near Sidney Place and Mill Road in Glendale, after a woman noticed damage to her vehicle. Investigators learned of other vehicles in the parking lot that had damage to them as a result of BB guns -- consistent with reports that had come into the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and Milwaukee Police Department. The complaint indicates when Blackmon III and Chambers were arrested on February 4th, they were considered suspects in this case out of Glendale.
As to that incident in Glendale, the complaint says Chambers admitted he was with Blackmon III on January 28th/29th, riding around in a stolen vehicle. They were apparently looking for another vehicle to steal because the vehicle they were in was running low on gas. Chambers told investigators they found a vehicle, and Blackmon III attempted to pop the ignition. Blackmon III was apparently unable to remove the ignition, and they then left. They returned on January 29th, according to Chambers, and again tried to steal the same vehicle they had tried to steal one day prior. They discovered the vehicle had been moved, so they decided against stealing it.
Chambers said they then drove around the parking lot and shot BB guns at different vehicles -- causing damage.
Officials with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said dozens of vehicles (58 in total) were damaged at General Mitchell International Airport's parking structure on January 30th, 31st and February 2nd and 3rd.
Vehicles shot by BB gun in General Mitchell International Airport parking structure, damaged and broken into
According to the complaint, as a part of the airport investigation, police responded to the area near 76th and Acacia Street on January 26th for a report of a stolen vehicle. That vehicle was observed at General Mitchell International Airport on February 3rd.
Sheriff's deputies had received reports that there were two black males breaking into vehicles parked at the parking structure at the airport -- shooting BB guns at the vehicles to break the windows.
Deputies found "multiple vehicles" with damage to them caused by BB guns. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office says a total of 58 vehicles were damaged.
Vehicles inside parking structure at General Mitchell International Airport
During the investigation at the airport, a deputy observed a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle stolen on January 26th near 76th and Acacia jump a curb while leaving the airport parking structure -- bypassing the payout booths.
The deputy tried to stop the vehicle but it traveled away from the airport at a high rate of speed. A pursuit by the deputy was terminated.
The vehicle stolen on January 26th near 76th and Acacia was eventually located abandoned near Layton and Howell.
The complaint states that Blackmon III admitted that he and Chambers shot BB guns at multiple vehicles throughout the airport parking structure. Blackmon III then said he and Chambers entered the vehicles looking for property to steal.
According to the complaint, investigators learned of a red Ford F-150 truck that had been parked at the airport parking structure on January 31st and reported missing on February 3rd. The owner of the vehicle indicated he had parked it at the airport, leaving the keys inside.
On February 4th, officers were dispatched to the area near 89th and Howard for a shots fired call. A woman observed several holes in the windows of her home, and when she looked outside, she spotted a black male running towards a red truck parked in front of her home. Officers responded to six other calls regarding BB gun damage to homes and cars in the area.
The red Ford F-150 truck was located in the parking lot of the McDonald's restaurant near 76th and Oklahoma and Chambers and Blackmon III were arrested. Four BB guns were recovered from the truck.
According to the complaint, Blackmon III told investigators he and Chambers were "bored" so they would shoot their BB guns at vehicles and houses. Blackmon III said if they shot out a window of a vehicle, they would then enter the vehicle and look for property to steal. Chambers also admitted to the crimes.
The complaint makes reference to complaints from St. Luke's Hospital regarding similar damage to vehicles on January 30th. The complaint says Blackmon III and Chambers admitted to driving at the hospital and shooting car windows out with BB guns. Seven victims reported damage to vehicles at St. Luke's.
According to the complaint, at the time of the alleged crimes for which Blackmon III and Chambers are now charged, Chambers was out on bond in a case charging him with two felony counts of theft of movable property (greater than $2,500 to $5,000) on a condition he commit no further crimes.
Chambers was released from custody in that case in January on a $500 bond.
According to a criminal complaint in that case, Chambers and friends were going to smoke weed, but decided to steal cars instead. They allegedly stole and crashed two vehicles in Milwaukee on January 22nd.
Chambers and Blackmon III will be in court on February 18th for scheduling conferences.