Two teenagers are facing a combined 31 charges in connection to a string of carjackings, robberies, and thefts across 15 cities.
St. Paul residents Kashawn Wertman, 18, and Nautica Argue, 19, are accused of perpetrating nearly 25 carjacking-related offenses in St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Richfield, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Edina, White Bear Lake, Roseville, Columbia Heights, Lakeville, Eagan, Little Canada, Burnsville, Woodbury, and St. Paul.
Some of these were high-profile crimes that garnered significant media attention, such as a Jan. 9 carjacking outside of Wayzata East Middle School and an attempted carjacking at an Edina daycare on Jan. 12.
Their crime spree began on Jan. 7 when they allegedly stole a running vehicle out of a St. Louis Park woman’s driveway in the middle of the day.
About an hour later, they carjacked a delivery driver at gunpoint in White Bear Lake, according to the allegations made against them in criminal complaints.
They stole a total of 10 vehicles and attempted to steal many more over the next several days. They didn’t hesitate to use violence against their victims, often threatening to shoot those who resisted or punching them in the face. They snatched purses and phones along the way and often targeted multiple victims in the same attack.
In one case, they even threatened to steal a woman’s dogs.
Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies went looking for Wertman on Jan. 18 at the 1700 block of Maryland Avenue in St. Paul. They encountered a stolen Audi being driven by Wertman with Argue in the passenger seat.
Wertman led police on a high-speed chase and turned off his vehicle’s headlights to aid his escape. He eventually made his way back to the residence on Maryland Avenue where both of the criminals were arrested.
Upon his arrest, Wertman told police that they should be “out arresting murderers, not people who steal cars.”
Wertman is facing 17 charges while Argue is facing 14, and additional charges are expected.