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RACINE ⏤ The Racine County District Attorney’s office has charged a Racine teen with felony theft-party to a crime and armed robbery.

The charges have been filed in connection with two robberies that originated with social media sales applications.

Tazarious K. Riddle, 17, was in custody in the Racine County Jail as of Friday afternoon.

Criminal complaint

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police responded to robberies that occurred Dec. 9 at Lincoln Park, 2200 Domanik Drive, and Dec. 10 at Island Park, 1700 Liberty St. 

In both cases, the victims arranged to purchase a Sony Playstation 5 (PS5) via social media sales applications called “Let’s Go” and “Offerup.” 

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Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 incidents

In the Dec. 9 incident, the victim met with a male and female at the Lincoln Park softball diamond. 

As the male opened a black briefcase that the victim thought contained the PS5, the female grabbed a $400 prepaid gift card and $200 in cash out of her hand. Both fled on foot. 

In the Dec. 10 incident, the victim made contact with a man who was carrying a black briefcase, at Island Park. 

The victim told police that, when they asked to see the PS5 before showing the money, the man “started acting anxious and sketchy and reaching into his hoodie pocket.” 

The man pulled a small, gray semi-automatic handgun out of his pocket and demanded the cash, the victim said. The victim handed over the money, and the man fled on foot.

Sales involved in theft linked to Riddle’s IP address

Police investigators discovered that both of the social media sales accounts used an internet provider (IP) address associated with an address on the 1700 block of Domanik Drive. 

At that point, police determined Riddle and his sister were suspects. 

Police executed a search warrant at the residence on Thursday. Police detained the teen while he was leaving the residence just before the warrant was executed. 

Riddle’s sister answered the door when officers knocked and announced the warrant. 

Officers found two rolling suitcases “consistent with what the male suspect was holding during both of the robberies,” the complaint stated. 

Sister admits involvement in armed robbery

Riddle’s sister admitted being present at the Lincoln Park robbery. She also said Riddle had set it up and that she had snatched the gift card and cash from the victim’s hand. 

She provided the $400 gift card, but said she had already spent the cash.

Teen makes initial appearance

According to online court records, Riddle made an initial appearance on Friday where the court set his cash bond at $500. 

Riddle will next appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 23. 

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...