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Teens' Crime Spree Halted By Armed Citizen

Originally ran here as:
"Teens' Crime Spree Halted By Shooting, Police Say"

July 23, 2001

TAMPA - Two 16-year-olds went on a carjacking and robbery rampage in northeast Tampa early Sunday, seriously injuring one man before a botched holdup ended their spree, police say.

For more than four hours, they robbed people in their cars and threatened others, police said. One man was hospitalized Sunday after being hit in the head with a rock.

This was the second burst of car thefts and armed robberies in Tampa by youths in four days, but police are unsure if they are connected.

Maurice Antwan Thomas, 8203 N. Klondike St., Apt. B, Tampa, and Marcus Antonio Stewart, no address given, who has been a fugitive since failing to appear at a hearing on burglary charges, were arrested.

Each faces three counts of armed carjacking and armed robbery. Thomas is charged with aggravated battery for throwing the rock that injured Jacob Plummer of Blanton, police said. More charges are pending against both.

According to police, Thomas and Stewart:

* Stole the car driven by Plummer after injuring him and threatening him and his passenger on N. Florida Avenue.

* Robbed a Riverview man while he was in his truck at 6013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A third suspect in this robbery is at large.

* Tried to rob a clerk at Red Roof Inn, 5001 U.S. 301 N. She refused to unlock the door.

* Threatened a woman and her children while she was dropping them off on Nebraska Avenue. Thomas and Stewart stole purses, cash, medicine and the car.

* Tried to rob Hungry Howie's restaurant at 2001 E. Hillsborough Ave. Thomas approached the counter with a shotgun. The owner fired three shots from a handgun. He hit Stewart twice. Police found Stewart and Thomas at 1310 E. 19th Ave.

Stewart was treated at a hospital before being turned over to police. Both teenagers are in juvenile custody.

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