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Armed Robbery Suspect Released Pending Trial

Milton tracked with GPS, must stay away from BU, Brookline

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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
Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Leslie Friday can be reached at lfriday@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

18 Comments on Armed Robbery Suspect Released Pending Trial

  • Jeff Lambe on 10.26.2012 at 5:20 am

    It’s ridiculous that they release this kid just because he is 17. I knew of several people in high school (in Massachusetts) that were charged as adults for nonviolent drug/alcohol offenses, but commit armed robbery and you can go back on the streets in less than two weeks! Its no wonder so many young people are willing to turn to crime.

    • Dan Cusher on 10.26.2012 at 9:05 am

      He was released pending trial: “Milton, [the 17-year-old] who will be tried as an adult, could receive a minimum sentence of five years in state prison.” I’m sure the other two were also released until the trial, but since they’re juveniles that information wasn’t given out. (Note: you’re a juvenile until age 17, not 18, which is why they told us the 17-year-old’s name other info.) Also, “The severity of the juveniles’ sentences will depend on whether they are tried in criminal court or juvenile court,” meaning they could get serious jail time as well, if the judge decides to try them as adults.

    • Franziska Meinherz on 10.26.2012 at 9:27 am

      Well as he’s still going to school, it is very important that he doesn’t miss too many classes in order for him to get his degree. I mean, picture him with no high school degree – he won’t have many perspectives others than to return to criminality! But if given a proper education, he will be able to find a normal job and he can be a valuable member of society. By letting him go back to school, you actually help him NOT to return to crime.

    • X on 10.26.2012 at 10:03 am

      It’s called inocent until proven guilty. Also, if you read the article it says that he has a GPS device, has to go to school, and has to stay on a curfew. Then everything will be evaluated by a judge at the time of his trial. If you ask me, it is better for a 17 year old kid to be in school and if found guilty be put in jail. Also, he is being charge as an adult, which is why they can give out his name, unlike the other two.

    • C Lyon on 10.26.2012 at 10:22 am

      Chillax. He is 17 with no prior offenses, GPS monitored, and has a ridiculously tight curfew (enforced by GPS monitor). The point of the punishment is to prevent repeat offending. The judge probably thought he had a better chance of being rehabilitated if he were not held in jail for the entire time (which would prevent him from going back to school).

      I’m not saying he is the victim by ANY means. I am only saying that maybe he can learn his lesson and live a normal life.

      Now, if you think of jail as strictly a punishment rather than motivated by a desire to rehabilitate, then that is your view…but eventually he would be released from jail and would have a higher likelihood of committing crimes.

    • Peter on 10.26.2012 at 10:57 am

      Remember Jeff, this is Massachusetts. The perpetrators are the victims. Likely he will try to sue those he robbed, for lost wages.

  • Liz on 10.26.2012 at 8:42 am

    If this kid doesn’t think the consequences of crime are worse than what his life has to offer, don’t you have to wonder about what kind of options we as a society are providing him? Besides, the one who has been released is 17and is being tried as an adult.

  • danlidz17 on 10.26.2012 at 8:48 am

    “Milton, who will be tried as an adult, could receive a minimum sentence of five years in state prison.”

    There’s all sorts of fun details between the headline and the comment section.

  • Orly? on 10.26.2012 at 9:59 am

    “…pending trial.” Finishing sentences is fun and rewarding!

  • Lawrence Wenner on 10.26.2012 at 10:25 am

    It is really quite unwise to release these individuals. This was armed robbery! They were not pointing an ice cream cone at their frightened victims. Yet, if someone shows up in our living room in the middle of the night and we defend ourselves, we would have a lot of explaining to do.

    I am sure it’s all about politics. Unacceptable. It makes you want to leave the State of Massachusetts

    • Meghan on 10.26.2012 at 1:16 pm

      Armed with a BB gun. Doesn’t exactly sound like a serious threat to the community. Why waste money remanding him?

      • Peter on 10.26.2012 at 3:02 pm

        It is not the weapon. It’s the threat to do bodily harm with it. Of course if not remanded, it would send a message that we do not believe in the rule of law.
        The reason why we see so many repeat life criminals, is that they did not become adequately punished in their youth.

        • Jose on 10.30.2012 at 2:12 pm

          or because they come out even worst from jail than when they got in

    • Anonymous on 10.26.2012 at 7:37 pm

      MA does have a castle doctrine; I just wish campuses weren’t victim-only zones.

  • SOS on 10.26.2012 at 10:48 am

    The two others will be tried as adults – armed robbery is a big deal, as they’re about to find out.

  • Jake on 10.26.2012 at 11:50 am

    Just give Milton his Stapler back, thats all he wants.

  • Rover on 10.26.2012 at 3:10 pm

    5 years works for me. Whatever the mandatory minimum is for these little jerks, they should tack on a few years to send a message. I have no sympathy for these juvenile delinquents. I grew up poor too, and owned BB guns, but I never thought to go around sticking it in people’s faces to rob them of their possessions. Maybe time in the slammer will build some character for them.

  • Slim on 10.27.2012 at 10:28 pm

    Five years isn’t enough time for these vermin to think about how terrorized their victims felt. Give them 10 years to chill.

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