AUSTIN - Two teens have been accused of robbing three different victims at gunpoint at three different locations within 3.3 miles of each other in the same night, police said.
The suspects -- later identified as Ernesto Mendoza, 17, and Francisco Zapata, 18 -- allegedly drove around with semi-automatic handguns and approached three different victims who were walking alone in the streets. When they approached each victim, they allegedly threatened to shoot or run them over them if they didn't give them their belongings.
According to police, on Jan. 10 at around 3:07 a.m., Mendoza and Zapata approached the first victim who was waiting at a bus station at Burton Drive and Woodland Avenue, and stole his backpack at gunpoint. Mendoza allegedly told Zapata to, "shoot him," the victim told police.
At around 4:24 a.m. near 2305 Burleson Road, the two suspects allegedly pointed their handguns at the second victim, and yelled, "Give me everything you have!" Mendoza and Zapata took his wallet, and allegedly came within a foot of hitting the second victim, police said.
According to the affidavit, at around 5:18 a.m., Mendoza and Zapata stopped the third victim on Sixth and Pedernales streets and yelled, "Give me your money!" Police said Zapata then exited the vehicle and pointed his handgun at the victim, who told the suspects that he would identify them to police. The suspects then drove off.
At this point, police officers were in the area searching for the two suspects. When police attempted to pull them over, Mendoza and Zapata allegedly attempted to evade police at a high rate of speed, running multiple red lights and stop signs, until finally coming to a stop at East 5th and Tillery streets.
Mendoza has been charged with three counts of aggravated robbery and evading arrest with a vehicle with a bond set at $100,000. Zapata has been charged with three counts of aggravated robbery, with his bond set at $100,000. According to online records, both are currently in the Travis County Jail.
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