Siblings shot at during Erlanger carjacking, police say crime connected to a string of recent car thefts

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Written by Valerie Lyons for WCPO

A brother and sister survived an armed carjacking Wednesday in what police say was part of a crime spree. The teens believed to be responsible later led state troopers on a multi-county pursuit before crashing.

Now, authorities continue to search for all but one of the suspects.

Erlanger police said a group of at least 11 teens committed multiple thefts from unlocked cars in Erlanger and Elsmere in the early morning of March 15. At around 3 a.m., they pulled in front of a home on Hallam Street in Erlanger.

Brandon Rodgers lives in the home with his sister, Anisha, and her husband. He said Anisha’s car was warming up as they were getting ready for work when he looked through the front window.

“I said, “Hey, Nisha, you’ve got people in and out of your car, I don’t know what they’re doing,'” Rodgers said. “By that time the dude jumped in the driver seat and I said, ‘They’re about to steal your car.'”

Rodgers said that’s when he and his sister ran outside to try and stop the thieves from driving off.

“I jumped on the hood; my sister grabbed the window because it was cracked,” Rodgers said. “She grabbed the window and that’s when they floored it.”

The two were thrown off the car. The carjackers sped away, one of them firing their gun at the siblings though neither was hit. A neighbor’s doorbell camera captured the commotion from afar.

The car was tracked to a gas station in Carrollton 30 minutes later. Police say that was a rallying point for the teens who were all caught on surveillance video getting out of the three vehicles.

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“I didn’t even know about the other car,” Rodgers said. “So if it would have just been my sister coming out here, she would have gotten killed.”

Det. Tom Loos with the Erlanger Police Department said Rodgers’ sister’s car was electronically deactivated after the teens pulled up to a gas pump. The teens were unable to restart it.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office was then brought into the investigation, dispatching deputies to the gas station.

The teens then drove off in the other two SUVs as a deputy tried to stop them. The deputy alerted a nearby Kentucky State Trooper who then pursued the vehicles, a silver BMW and a newer black Acura MDX.

Troopers were able to keep up with the BMW as it sped down I-71.

The pursuit continued a while longer before coming to a crashing halt in Louisville. KSP said the BMW hit the side of another car while it was sitting at a red stop light. The suspects’ car then caught fire. Several teens ran but police were able to take one girl into custody.

In a press release, Loos said authorities found a loaded Taurus 9mm along a path the suspects took. It’s believed they threw the gun out during the pursuit.

Rodgers said police returned his sister’s car later that night with only minor damage.

“We’re so glad we got the car back,” he said. “We figured once they left here we thought it either be wrecked or if we’d even see it again.”

Police said the teen suspects could face attempted murder charges.

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Erlanger police are urging the community to be mindful about locking their cars and removing valuables and to avoid idling cars. Anyone with information is urged to call EPD or Loos at 859-380-2926.

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