After a two month investigation, Houston police have arrested nine minors, including a 10-year-old boy, for their alleged roles in a rash of robberies on or near a southeast Houston bike trail.
Police believe the group is responsible for more than 20 robberies dating back to May.
Investigators said Wednesday the suspects range in age from 10 to 16. They would work in groups of two, three, four or five during the attacks and strike without warning, knocking riders off their bikes by hitting them in the back of their heads with their fists, rocks and even bricks.
Police said in addition to stealing bikes, the young suspects would take wallets and cell phones.
Police said some of the suspects said the committed the crimes for fun, while other said they did it because they needed to eat or wanted new tennis shoes.
The group targeted riders during high traffic times along the Columbia Tap Bike Trail located between McGregor and the Gulf Freeway.
Some victims were attacked while riding in pairs. The victims range from college students to senior citizens.
"They would blindside their victims. Hit them upside the head. They had no chance,” said HPD Capt. Glenn Yorek.
Houston police said the teenagers are affiliated with a group in Houston’s Third Ward.
Additional charges could be filed.
Police said eight of the nine suspects are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. The youngest of the group has been referred on a robbery charge.
Police said some of the boys have criminal histories, while others do not.