Neighbor says 15-year-old suspected carjacker charged with a dozen felonies is a "very good kid"

DETROIT (WXYZ) - "I don't want him to end up doing time," said Danee Jordan about her 15-year-old neighbor who is charged with two carjackings and ten armed robberies.

Montez Smith has been charged as an adult, and investigators with Detroit's Commercial Auto Theft Section say Smith and at least five other teenagers terrorized women and senior citizens in neighborhoods around East Lafayette and Rivard.

Investigators say the teens, who called themselves "True Cash Fam", robbed women and seniors of their purses, cell phones and cars.

Another teen, 17-year-old Cortez Green, is charged with Carjacking. Police say Green and another teenager stole a woman's car at gunpoint because they didn't feel like walking to school.

Police say the victim in Green's case turned out to be a teacher.

Jordan tells 7 Action News that she was shocked to see police arresting Smith who lives with his mother and grandmother just two doors away from her family in Martin Luther King Jr. Apartments.

"He is a very good kid," says Jordan.

The teens suspected of being involved in the young gang of thieves have been targeting citizens since November, according to police.

"It should be on a parent to make that child a better citizen as opposed to a hoodlum or a thug," said Sergeant Vernal Newson of DPD's Commercial Auto Theft Section.

Relatives of Smith and Green have declined to comment.


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