Police investigate three robberies over the weekend

Sunday, April 27, 2008 | 8:03 p.m. CDT; updated 11:13 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department investigated three robberies that they say occurred on Friday and Saturday, including one that ended in a car accident as the suspects fled.

On Saturday night, a 22-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man told investigators they were walking near Locust and Waugh streets when four people wearing bandannas approached. The man told police one of the suspects held a gun to his head and demanded money.

The suspects fled, and police later located three people who matched their description in a vehicle on Eighth Street near Cherry Street. Officers attempted to pull the car over, but it sped away northbound when approached, according to a news release.

The car traveled northbound on Eighth Street and ran red lights at Cherry Street and Broadway before being hit by another car traveling east on Broadway, according to the news release. The suspects’ car spun and hit a light pole, critically injuring one suspect.

Mia S. Burnes, 17, of Fayette; Alexander D. Ross, 17, of Columbia; and Reuben N. Smith, 17, of Columbia were charged with first-degree robbery.

Burnes, who drove the vehicle, was also charged with a felony, resisting arrest.

Burnes remained held at the Boone County Jail on $54,500 bond, and Ross remained held on $50,000 bond. Smith was injured in the crash and remained at University Hospital in critical condition.

Police found evidence in the car that linked the three to the robbery, according to the news release. Sgt. Dan Beckman did not know if police were still looking for a fourth suspect on Sunday.

The driver of the other vehicle in the crash, Kevin M. Kiesling, 28, of Jamestown, was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and failure to show proof of insurance. Kiesling was released from Boone County Jail when he posted his $500 bond early Sunday.

Police were not able to say if the robbery was linked to two other robberies that occurred on Friday and Saturday.

At about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, a 24-year-old St. Charles man had his car and wallet stolen at gunpoint when he turned east on Ash Street from Providence Road, police said.

At about 6 p.m. Friday, a 17-year-old male reported a robbery at the intersection of Northland Drive and Blue Ridge Road.

He told police that acquaintances forcibly took money and personal property from him.

Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 875-TIPS or submit a tip at for a reward of up to $1,500 if the information leads to an arrest.

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