Police had previously identified as Hyundai SUV that was seen leaving several of the cases, and after they found it Wednesday morning, they were able to identify the three suspects, NOPD Second District Commander Paul Noel said in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
“They worked very diligently on these cases,” Noel said of the detectives from the First and Second districts. “They worked after hours. They worked before hours. They worked around the clock on these cases.”
The three suspects together have been identified in seven robberies so far, Noel said, though not all three were present in every robbery. The arrested suspects were Marva D. Turner and Joshua Summers, both 20, and 18-year-old Carlos Tobias.All three were involved in Sunday morning’s robberies, which took place from 7:50 to 8:40 a.m. at Marais and Ursuline, the 3500 block of Robert and at Milan and South Derbigny, police said.
Tobias and Turner have been linked to two on (Wednesday) Feb. 5 — one at South Johnson and Nashville at 7 p.m. followed by another in the 1600 block of Soniat Street around 8:15 p.m — and a third case at Octavia and South Robertson on Saturday evening, police said.
Tobias and Summers were linked to an armed robbery at 10:10 p.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of Palmer, police said.
Three other cases — Wednesday in the 2100 block of South Lopez, Thursday in the 4600 block of LaSalle and 1 a.m. Saturday in the 1900 block of South Rendon — remain under investigation as well, police said.
Turner is charged with principal to armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and a single count of theft. Summers is charged with four counts of armed robbery and one simple robbery. Tobias is charged with three counts of armed robbery and one count of first-degree robbery, jail records show.
The trio are locals, Noel said, but had not had serious run-ins with the Second District previously.
Noel has made reducing armed robberies a priority since being appointed to lead the Second District in early 2012. Robberies have been on a steady decline in the Second District since then — despite dramatically shrinking manpower — which Noel has attributed to robbery clearance rates that well exceed the national averages.
“Go back a long time ago, these armed serial robbers were very common,” Noel said. “We didn’t have any that I can recall in 2013 at all, so I think that’s a credit of the hard work of the police department Uptown to stop these cases.”