Officers of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office reported the arrest of a 17-year old teenager in Deerfield Beach in August. The Florida girl is accused of committing several juvenile crimes with the help of her 21-year-old boyfriend and the father of her 3-month-old baby, along with another 19-year-old man. While officers say they know of at least two victims of their alleged dating scam, they are looking for more victims.
According to the allegations, the teenage girl advertised herself as a 21-year-old woman with an assumed name on a dating app. Men who responded were allegedly asked to meet her at her home, not knowing that the two male gang members would rob them upon their arrival at the woman’s home. Victims reported noticing the house was essentially empty before the masked accomplices appeared, demanding cash while they waved handguns.
One victim claims the gang was dissatisfied because he had only $15 in his wallet along with a cellphone and debit and credit cards. He alleges they blindfolded him and drove him to various ATMs to withdraw cash, letting him go after he withdrew about $200. The two victims also alleged that the gang stopped them from reporting the incidents to police because the girl was only 17 years old, apparently arguing that the victims could find themselves facing criminal charges.
The teenager and her purported accomplices each face charges of armed robbery, carjacking and kidnapping. Criminal convictions can have severe consequences for anyone in Florida, and that’s perhaps particularly so when a young person is facing accusations of juvenile crimes. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work to protect the rights of those accused, including those that end up before the state’s juvenile justice system.