6 Fort Lauderdale teens accused of stealing man’s life savings, guns, Porsche

Six South Florida teenagers are accused of stealing a man’s life savings and blowing it on jewelry, cars and even gold teeth.

St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara said Monday that Walter Walker, 16, and five other teens, ages 14 and 15, drove to the 200 block of Marina Drive on North Hutchinson Island in April and burglarized a home, stealing a 2014 Porsche Cayman as they left.

“It’s clear through the interviews with these thugs that they intentionally targeted our community, searched out a house in an affluent neighborhood and stole their life savings,” Mascara said.

Mascara said the Fort Lauderdale teens stole a safe with more than $200,000 in cash inside and two handguns from the home.

The safe was found empty later that day, and the car was found days later in Delray Beach.

“Over the course of the last two months, the thorough work of our detectives and crime scene technicians (has) led us to identify these six individuals and their extensive history of similar crimes throughout the South Florida region,” Mascara said. “The investigation would not have been such a success without the teamwork of law enforcement from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Delray Beach police and Fort Lauderdale police all trying to track and arrest this group of thieves.”

According to arrest affidavits, the teens used the stolen cash to buy gold chains, a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, a Mercedes-Benz C300 and gold teeth for a 15-year-old suspect.

Mascara said the teens were already in custody on other charges. He said all but one 14-year-old confessed to the St. Lucie County burglary.

They face multiple charges, including grand theft.

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BMW adding 1,000 jobs in South Carolina

BMW is adding 1,000 jobs at a plant in South Carolina, its largest production facility in the world.

The German car company announced Monday that it will invest $600 million at the plant in Spartanburg, which produced 411,000 vehicles last year and employs about 9,000 people. BMW will add the jobs by 2021.

About 70% of the vehicles made at the plant are sent to other countries, helping make BMW the largest vehicle exporter from the United States.

BMW chairman Harald Krüger credited “free trade and open markets” with making the plant a success.

“We will keep investing in our people and in our business in the U.S.,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, I remain confident that our footprint and commitment will continue to grow not only in the great state of South Carolina, but also in the United States in the years to come.”

BMW made the announcement as the plant celebrated its 25th anniversary. It makes cars for BMW’s X3, X4, X5 and X6 lines, and it will make the BMW X7, which is coming to market late next year.

Even with its success in South Carolina, the company has been knocked by President Donald Trump.

In January, he told a German news magazine that BMW should reconsider plans to build a $1 billion plant in Mexico. The automaker wants to build its BMW 3 Series sedan there starting in 2019. BMW has remained committed to that plant.

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Shooting in West Park leads to search in Hollywood

A shooting in West Park led to a search in Hollywood, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened along Southwest 55th Avenue and Southwest 28th Street early Tuesday morning in West Park.

According to the BSO, a man was shot multiple times and taken to a hospital in stable condition.

A deputy patrolling the area heard the gunshots and began trailing a car into the city of Hollywood near Buchanan Street and North 70th Avenue. It was at the intersection that deputies said three people bailed out.

One person was detained but not arrested. 

Stay with Local 10 and Local10.com for updates.

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Emmett Till’s civil rights marker vandalized

A civil rights marker about Emmett Till on the Mississippi Freedom Trail has been vandalized twice in the past two months, according to the firm that manages the trail.

The historical marker outside the grocery store where 14-year-old Till was accused of whistling at a white woman while visiting his family has to be refurbished due to the damage by vandals, said Allan Hammons, whose company manages the Mississippi Freedom Trail.

He said that in May someone scratched the marker, and over the weekend, it was noticed that someone had peeled off the back of the marker, where it contained photos and writings about Till.

“This site is a significant moment in the civil rights movement,” Hammons said. “People were outraged and shocked at this incredible criminal act. What Mississippi chose to do by creating the freedom trail was committing themselves to telling the unvarnished truth.”

Till was kidnapped and lynched in Money, Mississippi, in 1955 after the incident at the Bryant Grocery store. Two white men were arrested in the case, but were acquitted by an all-white jury in Mississippi that same year.

Till’s death, and the decision of his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, to show her son’s beaten body in an open casket, was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. His mother allowed newspapers to print photos of Till’s disfigured face in his casket, which fired up the civil rights movement.

The marker outside the former Bryant Grocery store was erected in 2011. Hammons said it will be removed this week and taken to his office for the necessary repairs, which will cost about $500.

Last year, the sign marking the site of the teen’s death was found riddled with bullet holes.

Hammons said it is unknown if the vandalism was racially motivated or just a random crime. Till’s marker is the only marker on the freedom trail that has been vandalized, he said.

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‘Tumultuous divorce’ behind boy’s apparent murder

A “tumultuous divorce” led a California man to kill his 5-year-old son in April, investigators said Monday, three days after 35-year-old Aramazd Andressian Sr. was arrested and charged with murder even though his missing son has not been confirmed dead.

Andressian was arrested on one count of murder on Friday and will be arraigned in Los Angeles later this week, where he will face 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Andressian remains in custody and neither he nor his attorney commented publicly Monday, according to local media reports.

His son, Aramazd Andressian Jr., has been missing since he was last seen leaving Disneyland with his father during a weekend outing in April

“My heart is shattered,” Ana Estevez, the missing child’s mother, wrote in a statement read by a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff at Monday’s news conference. “I will miss my son each and every second of every day for the rest of my life.”

Investigators: Mounting evidence

The boy was last seen leaving Disneyland with his father after midnight on April 21. Hours later, the father was found unconscious in a South Pasadena park without his son, saying he did not remember what happened.

After being questioned by police, Andressian spent 47 days in Las Vegas, according to authorities. While there, he shaved the beard he had grown and dyed his hair.

“He was taking part in activities and displaying mannerisms that were not consistent with a grieving parent,” Lt. Joe Mendoza of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters on Monday. He did not elaborate.

But Mendoza added, “We further believe that he was making plans to flee the country to a location where he could not be extradited.”

Officials at the news conference did not elaborate on the divorce of the boy’s parents.

According to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, the circumstantial evidence surrounding Andressian was enough to arrest him on murder charges even though investigators have still not found his son.

“It may seem unusual to file murder charges when we have not yet found the child’s body,” she said. “But rest assured my office has successfully prosecuted such cases before.”

Medonza said Andressian, in jail since his arrest on Friday, “has not been cooperative whatsoever.”

“As a matter of fact, he has given us information in interviews that were untruths,” Mendoza said.

The search continues

There have been no confirmed sightings of the child since he went missing, Mendoza said Monday.

The search for the 5-year-old spans from Santa Barbara to Pasadena, about a 100 mile stretch, and includes hundreds of law enforcement personnel and volunteers.

Investigators are focusing on a 6½ hour window between when Andressian was seen leaving Disneyland with his son and when he was found in the park.

“My community in South Pasadena, their heart breaks,” South Pasadena Police Chief Arthur Miller said. The boy and his parents lived in the Southern California community, according to local media reports.

“Their heart aches.”

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