Armed Robbery Suspect Released Pending Trial
Milton tracked with GPS, must stay away from BU, Brookline
A Brookline District Court judge yesterday afternoon released at least one suspect allegedly involved in the armed robberies near the Charles River Campus, ordering him to wear a GPS monitor and stay away from Brookline, the BU campus, his victims, and his two juvenile codefendants.
Judge Dacey White also said Taquari Milton, 17, of Roxbury, must continue attending school, remain drug-, alcohol-, and weapon-free, and obey a daily 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He must report to a probation officer once a week until his next court appearance, on October 31, when White will review his GSP monitor compliance.
Because Milton’s codefendants are juveniles, the court is not allowed to release any information about their cases and has closed their hearings to the public.
All of the suspects were taken into custody last week, when two turned themselves in to Brookline Police and one was arrested at the school he attends. They are charged with two counts of armed robbery for crimes committed on September 25 and October 5. They have pleaded not guilty in Brookline District Court, and had been held without bail until yesterday’s hearing. Police have yet to connect the suspects to two other robberies near campus, on September 23 and October 9 and urge the BU community to remain vigilant and cautious.
BU Police Chief Thomas Robbins says detectives are aggressively investigating the first and fourth robberies. “Until we have resolution,” he says, “we will continue our focused, additional patrols in the Brookline area.”
The arrests follow an all-out push by police from Brookline, Boston, and Boston University to capture suspects in the four armed robberies in two weeks, a crime spree that put the BU community on edge and engendered a town hall meeting with the dean of students, a letter to the community from President Robert A. Brown, and the University’s announcement of a $10,000 reward.
On Thursday, October 11, two days after the last robbery, Brookline Police released a short video of the suspects taken by a surveillance camera at the Dexter Park Apartments at 175 Freeman St. The same day, BU offered its reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of one or more of the suspects.
Later that afternoon, according to a Brookline Police report, Captain Thomas Keaveney received a call from a woman identifying herself as the sister and legal guardian of one suspect. “I want this to stop before someone gets hurt,” the woman reportedly said. Later that day, the woman came to the station with an attorney and her juvenile brother, who was taken into custody.
On Thursday night, according to the report, the Boston Police Crime Stoppers tip line received a call identifying the school attended by the two other suspects in the video. The caller stated that a silver BB gun with a red tip was used in the armed robberies, which netted cash, wallets, credit cards, an iPhone, and laptops.
The next day, the report states, Brookline police officers visited the school, showed officials the surveillance video, and asked if they knew the suspects in the red and gray sweatshirts. Milton was identified as the suspect wearing the gray sweatshirt and was brought to the office and arrested.
Hours later, the third suspect, a 16-year-old juvenile, turned himself in to Brookline Police.
BUPD Lieutenant Peter DiDomenica says that if convicted, the suspects face various punishments. Milton, who will be tried as an adult, could receive a minimum sentence of five years in state prison. The severity of the juveniles’ sentences will depend on whether they are tried in criminal court or juvenile court, which would require that they be held by the Department of Youth Services.
The robberies began at 3 a.m. on September 23, when two BU students were robbed of an iPhone, an Android cell phone, a wallet, and $50 at Thorndike Street and Hamilton Road. On September 25, three men robbed three male BU students at gunpoint in the clear light of day—5 p.m.—at Egmont and St. Paul Streets. A third robbery, this time of a recent BU graduate, took place at 5:15 p.m. on October 5, at St. Paul and Thatcher Streets. A subsequent armed attempt to rob a female student occurred in the driveway of 808 Commonwealth Ave. on October 9 at 8:30 p.m. The woman told police that two assailants, who brandished a handgun, fled when they learned that she had nothing of value in her bag. There were no injuries in any of the assaults.
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for December 6 at Brookline District Court.
Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-494-TIPS (8477), or text to CRIME (27463).18 Comments