‘It’s a wild thing:’ Prosecutors say 2 robbed 3 on Milwaukee’s east side in 10 minutes

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MILWAUKEE -- Charges were filed Tuesday, Oct. 8 against Aaron Buggs, 17, of Milwaukee -- a young man prosecutors said was responsible for three armed robberies in 10 minutes on Milwaukee's east side.

Buggs faces one count of attempted armed robbery with threat of force, as party to a crime, and two counts of armed robbery with threat of force, as party to a crime for incidents that happened at 12:20 a.m. on Murray Avenue near Newberry Boulevard, and at 12:30 a.m. near Cramer Street and Locust Street, and at roughly the same time near Frederick Avenue and Belleview Place.

Seth King, 18, a college student, was the second victim.

"It's never real until it is," said King. "It's kind of surreal. I just look up and there's a gun in my face."

It was 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 4. King had just gotten off of work and was checking his phone when a black Jeep pulled up next to him near Cramer and Locust. Two people got out of the dark SUV.

"Time to go inside, grabbed my bag, and say, I was probably about here, and he grabbed it from my hand," said King.

Seth King

Seth King

His phone was gone, and he wasn't the only one victimized that night.

"Serially, within a short period of time, it's a wild thing to think about," said King.

Ten minutes before that, and a block away, the same thing happened to a man sitting in the driver's seat of his vehicle near Murray and Newberry. He told investigators a black Jeep pulled up and a male exited, armed with a handgun -- yelling at the victim to, "Get out of the car." The victim said he froze before putting his vehicle into drive and speeding away.

Minutes after the incident involving King, a woman who had just gotten off of work was gathering items from her vehicle after parking near Frederick and Belleview, when a Jeep pulled up and two people exited -- both of them armed. She told investigators one of the people put a gun to her head and told her to drop her belongings. She said she dropped her purse, keys, and food, and the suspects got away with her purse.

According to prosecutors, 15 minutes later, an officer searching for the black Jeep spotted an SUV matching the description of the Jeep at a gas station on Capitol Drive near Holton Street, and when the officer pulled in, the SUV took off -- blowing a red light and soon, speeding through a construction zone. The driver was identified as Terrance Newburn, 18, based on surveillance images.

Around 8 a.m., police took a report of a suspicious Jeep near 56th Street and Hampton Avenue -- with a purse inside. An investigation revealed the Jeep had been stolen out of Dane County, and the purse belonged to the woman robbed near Frederick and Belleview. According to prosecutors, a fingerprint lifted from the Jeep matched that of Buggs. The complaint said King identified Buggs as the man who took his phone near Cramer and Locust.

King told FOX6 News he was thankful to be alive after the ordeal.

Seth King

Seth King

"I'm of the mindset life just happens, and you gotta roll with the punches," said King. "People doing what they want and not caring about other people."

King added he saw at least three men in the Jeep.

An arrest warrant was issued for Buggs Wednesday.

The following charges were filed against Newburn on Sept. 17:

  • Attempted armed robbery with threat of force, as party to a crime
  • Armed robbery with threat of force, as party to a crime -- three counts
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude officer -- two counts
  • Second degree recklessly endangering safety
  • Operating without consent -- possess weapon, as party to a crime
  • Possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent of a felon

He pleaded not guilty on Sept. 25 during his preliminary hearing. A scheduling conference was set for Oct. 18.

Cash bond was set at $150,000 when he made his initial appearance in court on Sept. 18.

There was no word Wednesday on a potential third suspect.

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