A Kansas City teenager has been charged in recent reported armed robberies, including one early Tuesday morning in a parking garage in the Country Club Plaza area, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Friday.
Derrick L. Sanders, 19, faces two counts of first-degree robbery.
On Sunday, police were called to 38th Street and Warwick Boulevard for an armed robbery. The victim told officers he was in the parking garage when a man walked up to him, grabbed his notepad and then fled in a teal Pontiac.
Then, on Tuesday, police were called to Roanoke and Ward parkways on another armed robbery. The victim told police he was parked in a parking garage only blocks away at West 47th near Summit streets when he was robbed.
According to reports, the man was getting out of his car in a well-lit, seemingly secure parking garage just after midnight when three men, one of whom was wearing a red Spiderman mask, pulled a gun on him.
He told police they shoved him to the ground and told him to lay on his stomach before they hit and kicked him repeatedly and stole his wallet, iPad and cell phone. The situation was captured on Plaza security surveillance cameras and it showed the suspects leave in a teal Pontiac.
Then, on Thursday, police were called to the Plaza area again after security reported seeing three men in a parking garage at 47th and Broadway streets around a teal Pontiac Sunfire. When the three men saw security, they left in the vehicle, but were pulled over a short time later.
Sanders was driving the car at the time and two juveniles were inside with him. A check of the Pontiac found a red Spiderman ski mask and other clothing that matched descriptions of the previous robberies. Court documents said officers also found a toy "cap" gun that looked like a revolver and a cell phone that matched the one taken Wednesday.
While Sanders denied all knowledge of the robberies while being questioned, court documents said one of the juveniles admitted to taking part in them with the other kid and Sanders.
The Country Club Plaza is best known for the great selection of shopping and dining, but the recent news is giving it a reputation of another kind.
The victim in the parking garage robbery will be OK, but the news is unsettling to those who visit the area.
"Well it is obviously very scary to hear," said Daniel Dooley, who works on the Plaza.
Dooley uses the same garage where that man was assaulted.
"I think I'll be thinking about it as I go into the garage and be looking around as I go in," Dooley said.
Others would like to see Plaza security worry less about traffic and focus more on safety.
"I think the most concerning thing is that security on the Plaza doesn't really do anything. They just put tickets on peoples' cars, more concerned about making money that way and less about protecting people that live and work down here," Lacy Gibbs said.
Highwoods Properties officials said they are working with police but they would not share video with KCTV5.
If anyone has any information, they are urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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