Fairview Heights police arrested three teenage suspects in connection with a Tuesday night armed robbery and carjacking.
The teens, two are 15, and the other is 13, possessed Airsoft pellet guns, which resemble real firearms.
One of the 15-year-olds previously was charged in an Oct. 11 robbery at Moody Park in Fairview Heights, according to police. He was charged at the time in juvenile court with robbery and mob action and was supposed to be on home confinement at the time of the latest crime.
According to police reports, the armed robbery and carjacking happened about 9 p.m. on the parking lot of the Dollar General store at 10261 Lincoln Trail.
According to Lt. Mike Hoguet, a 38-year-old woman was approached by three teenagers as she and her 7-year-old son were leaving the store and getting into their car. The suspects demanded money but before they could get any, they ordered the woman to remove her child from the vehicle and fled in it.
"Fortunately, no one was hurt and officers were able to catch the suspects a short time later," Hoguet said.
Police responding to the call spotted the stolen vehicle westbound on St. Clair Avenue near its intersection with Illinois 157. The suspects fled from pursuing police until they lost control of the car and crashed in a drainage ditch at Vassar and Hallows avenues in Washington Park.
The teens fled on foot and were caught a short time later. Officers from the Belleville, Brooklyn, Caseyville, East St. Louis, Fairmont City and Washington Park police departments as well as the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department and Illinois State Police set up a perimeter around the area of the crash to corral the suspects.
"It took everyone from dispatchers to patrol officers and all the assistance we got from other departments to get this case successfully resolved," Hoguet said.
Fairview Heights police are trying to work with the St. Clair County Probation Department to figure out why the teen on home confinement was able to get out of the house without a more immediate response.
Contact reporter Scott Wuerz at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 239-2626.