Feds charge two men with carjackings targeting Uber drivers in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Federal authorities have busted two young men in a series of carjackings in which investigators say they repeatedly targeted Uber and Lyft drivers in Minneapolis.
Eighteen-year-old Shevirio Childs-Young and 20-year-old William Saffold are charged in a 20-count indictment including conspiracy, brandishing firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence, aiding and abetting carjacking, and aiding and abetting interference with commerce by robbery under the Hobbs Act.
Prosecutors say the carjackings spanned from September to October 2021. During that time, police issued a city-wide alert for ride-share drivers, warning thieves were targeting them.
Federal prosecutors say the two men organized a scheme where they would lure drivers to certain spots for pick-ups. But, when the drivers arrived, the men would hold them at gunpoint, demanding they transfer money to them using their phones, before taking their cars.
During the robberies, prosecutors say the suspects would threaten to kill the drivers and sometimes pistol-whip them.
Saffold made his first court appearance on Wednesday. Childs-Young is already in state custody but will appear in federal court at a later date. FOX 9 previously reported on Childs-Young run-ins with law enforcement.
Prosecutors say the charges were a joint effort by Minneapolis police and the FBI.