They set their sights on carjacking and robbing women and senior citizens, but this ring of young thieves is now locked up and off the streets of Detroit, according to police.
Investigators with DPD's Commercial Auto Theft Section (CATS) arrested the six teenagers, including a 13-year-old boy who is being charged as a juvenile. But his 15-year-old alleged partner in crime is being charged as an adult for multiple offenses including carjacking and armed robbery.
"I didn't see him until he was right in front of me," said one of the elderly victims who talked to 7 Action News about the teen who took her keys at gunpoint.
So far, Detroit Police have tied the teens to four carjackings, two attempted carjackings, and ten street robberies.
All of the crimes took place near downtown Detroit around E. Jefferson Avenue, Rivard Street, East Lafayette Blvd, and Chene.
And the teens don't live far from where their alleged crimes took place.
"They organized themselves as a gang and wore red bandanas," said Sergeant Vernal Newson who heads up CATS and urges citizens to be alert.
Sgt. Newson says other robbery and carjacking suspects have told them that they target people who "look weak, weren't paying attention, and appeared to be an easy target."
One of the teens, who has only been tied to one of the carjackings, is Cortez Green.
Green, who just turned 17, appeared in court Monday where he waived his right to a preliminary examination.
Green and another teen are accused of using a fake gun to carjack a woman, who happened to be a Detroit Public School teacher on her way to work, because the teens didn't feel like walking to school in the cold.
Green's mother sat in court wiping away tears, but declined to talk.
Newson said parents have got to stay aggressive with knowing who their children's friends are and their activities.
"You are responsible for that child," said Sgt. Newson. "It should be on a parent to make that child a better citizen as opposed to a hoodlum or a thug."
Citizens are encouraged to help make their communities safer by calling in tips that may involve cash rewards.
Tips that lead to the dismantling of chop shops could net an anonymous caller up to $10,000. The reward for tips that lead to a carjacking arrest can be up to $2,000.
If you have information, please call 1-(800)-242-HEAT.