Three teens jailed after allegedly using BB gun to rob juvenile

Police: Woman, 36, arrested for making false statement

ABILENE, Texas - Three teens were arrested Tuesday after allegedly using a BB gun to rob a juvenile who, police said, had been asked by a 36-year-old Abilene woman to buy drugs.

Police originally thought a woman had been robbed near Wylie Intermediate School, but investigators later determined the woman who originally claimed to have been the victim – 36-year-old Melissa G. Garza – had falsely reported what happened.

The investigation revealed Garza never had her purse stolen and that the "true victim" was a juvenile who had been directed by Garza to "purchase illicit narcotics from the suspects at the street corner," according to an Abilene Police Department news release.

"The investigation revealed that Garza had knowingly provided a false statement to detectives during the investigation which would have affected the outcome of the investigation," the news release said, noting Garza was taken to Taylor County jail, where her bond was set at $5,000.

Arrested for allegedly robbing the juvenile were 17-year-old Roderick J. Stewart Jr., 18-year-old Travis W. Evans and 18-year-old Andrew C. Nelson. They were booked into Taylor County Jail pending bond.

According to the news release, the Abilene Police Department received a call from Garza about 5:48 p.m. Tuesday. Garza alleged her purse had been stolen at gunpoint after three men in a Suburban had asked her for directions.

Garza alleged the incident occurred at a street corner in the 300 block of Miss Ellie Lane and that she had been able to follow Suburban and obtained a vehicle description, the news release said. That's when Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge spotted the vehicle, which had stopped in the 4300 block of Sayles Boulevard.

In the vehicle were Stewart, Evans and Nelson, police said.

At the Law Enforcement Center, Garza gave an account of the incident, which detectives determined had inconsistent details, police said. Additionally, the investigation revealed Garza never had her purse stolen and that the "true victim" was a juvenile who had been directed by the victim to "purchase illicit narcotics from the suspects at the street corner."

Police said the three men used a BB gun to rob the juvenile at gunpoint. In addition to the BB gun, patrol officers recovered a handgun and stolen money from the Suburban and one of the suspects.

"Because this case involves a juvenile, specific identifying information regarding ages, genders and relationships are withheld from this release," the news release said. "This investigation continues. This criminal case will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for their consideration of charges."

Original story:

Three men have been arrested for allegedly robbing a woman at gunpoint near Wylie Intermediate School.

The three men reportedly pulled out a gun and demanded the woman's purse.

After police were notified, it was Police Chief Stan Standridge, who was on his way home, that spotted the men in their car and pursued them.

"The woman was outside, they pulled up to her, asked her for directions whereupon they then pointed a firearm at her and demanded her purse" Standridge said. "Now, I don't know exactly where they were when this occurred all that information we'll glean from the investigation."

When Standridge spotted the vehicle, he then waited for more units to arrive before they pulled over the suspects on Sayles and Clack.



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