Benton police have arrested four suspects, who investigators believe are members of an organized gang, in a series of aggravated robberies in the area, according to a news release from the Benton Police Department.
The three robberies, two of which were home invasions, all took place in Benton between Oct. 2 and Oct. 20 and involved robbing the victims at gunpoint, police said. An unidentified male teen from Benton is believed to be involved in each of the robberies, according to the release.
The oldest of the four suspects, 23-year-old Ryan Walker of Little Rock, was arrested early Sunday morning at Fountain Lake Apartments in Benton during a purported home invasion. The other suspects — who investigators believe to include the juvenile, 19-year-old Kristen Gay of Alexander and 18-year-old Marcus Whitaker of Benton — purportedly fled the scene from a second-story window, police said. Benton Police Department spokesman Lt. Kevin Russell said the three were taken into custody Tuesday in Benton.
Police also named Walker, Gay and the teen as suspects in another home invasion and armed robbery that occurred Oct. 14 on Hiland Street, the release states.
The boy was charged with three counts each of aggravated robbery, false imprisonment and theft of property; two counts of aggravated residential burglary; and individual counts of interfering with emergency communications, engaging in a continual criminal gang, fleeing, possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The drug charges are enhanced because the boy was arrested at Tyndall Park, which is near a public school, Russell said.
Walker was charged with two counts each of aggravated robbery, theft of property and false imprisonment. Other individual charges include aggravated residential burglary, interfering with emergency communications, engaging in a continual criminal gang, fleeing and possession of a controlled substance.
Gay was charged with two counts each of aggravated robbery, theft of property and false imprisonment. Other individual charges include aggravated residential burglary, interfering with emergency communications, engaging in a continual criminal gang and fleeing.
The three adults are being held at the Saline County jail without bond, according to the Saline County sheriff's office jail roster. The status of the boy was not immediately disclosed.
Police said the investigation is ongoing, and additional suspects and charges are possible in the future.