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19-year-old man is charged with two Baltimore carjackings, allegedly used tool sales to lure victims

A Baltimore man is charged with two carjackings that prosecutors say took place in the city after people were lured by a group of men selling tools.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote that Michael Wedington Jr., 19, is charged with conspiracy, taking a motor vehicle by threats or violence, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

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Wedington is charged with committing the carjackings June 8 and June 10, the office wrote.

In the June 8 incident, prosecutors wrote, a man in the area of Washington Boulevard and South Monroe Street was waved down by a group of three men selling tools.

After it looked as if they were going to load the tools into the man’s vehicle, prosecutors wrote, one suspect armed with a handgun forced the victim into the back of his vehicle while all three suspects entered.

Prosecutors said the group stole the victim’s wallet and cellphone before driving to an ATM and forced the victim to give them his PIN number, which one suspect used to withdraw cash. The victim escaped from the van in the 7000 block of Park Heights Ave. and the vehicle was recovered five days later in the 2700 block of Tivoly Ave.

Two days later, prosecutors wrote, Wedington and co-conspirators executed a similar scheme, luring a victim to the 2400 block of W. Lexington St. by offering tools for sale through the OfferUp application.

Prosecutors wrote that the victim was taken to a back alley where two suspects armed with handguns took the victim’s wallet, two cellphones and Toyota Sienna.

The office wrote that investigators found a Toyota car key, firearms, replica pellet guns, clothing and cellphones at Wedington’s residence after executing a search warrant Nov. 1.

An attorney for Wedington declined to comment Wednesday.

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Carjackings in the city have spiked this year. Police said in October there had been more than 400 through Sept. 28, up 29 percent from last year.

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