SAN ANTONIO – A teenager who had plans to meet up in person with a girl he met on social media became the victim of a carjacking, San Antonio police said.
Officers responded to the victim's call for help around 4:30 a.m. Monday in a neighborhood off Spring Time Street near Babcock Road.
The teen told them that he was in the area to meet up with a girl who he had gotten to know online and had met with in person on a couple of occasions, officers said.
"Subsequently, some males showed up, robbed him of his vehicle and his phone at gunpoint. (They) pistol-whipped him," said Sgt. Mark Molter, of the San Antonio Police Department. "He made a comment that he felt like he was set up."
The victim told officers the robbers also took his sandals, leaving him barefoot.
Police set up a quadrant in the area and began flying over it in the SAPD Eagle helicopter.
At some point, officers found bullets in the middle of a nearby street where they believe fell out of the gun during the beating.
An officer driving about five miles away spotted the stolen Chevrolet Avalanche on Babcock Road in the Medical Center area.
Although the victim had reported that there were six suspects involved in the carjacking, police found only three people inside the stolen truck.
"They followed the vehicle as he turned into the apartment complex here. They activated their lights. The vehicle fled from them through the complex," Molter said.
After reaching a dead end in the apartment complex on Floyd Curl Drive near Hamilton-Wolfe, the trio jumped out of the truck and tried to run away.
Officers caught the two females and one male, all of whom were minors, police said.
Investigators believe that the trio may be part of a group responsible for a string of crimes in that segment of the Northwest Side involving teenage suspects.
"Robberies and the stealing of the vehicles out here in this area," Molter said.
A 15-year-old boy died in the crash when the SUV he was riding in rolled over near Interstate 10 and La Cantera early Sunday morning.
The victim was one of eight people in the vehicle. The seven others tried to run from officers after they were caught breaking into vehicles in the area.
"We're always looking at the possibility of connections," Molter said. "The area where the robbery took place is known for a gang that's committing a lot of these car burglaries, vehicle thefts and robberies."
It's unclear what charges the three teens in custody for the carjacking will face.