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Brazen crimes in Cleveland's trendy neighborhoods caught on camera

Posted at 7:19 PM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-29 19:41:49-04

A 19-year-old man will spend the next 25 years in prison for his part in a crime spree that crisscrossed Cleveland neighborhoods last summer. 

Surveillance video captured two teenagers walking home after getting pizza in Tremont when a car pulled up. Two men armed with guns jumped out and ordered the boys to get on the ground. 

Just two days later, surveillance video captured a couple saying goodbye on a summer night and then robbed at gunpoint in the Gordon Square neighborhood of Cleveland. 

In two of the eight cases in the crime spree, victims were robbed at gunpoint for their cell phones.

"People were just out enjoying the city," said Eleina Thomas, the managing attorney for the Crime Strategies Unit in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office. 

The Crime Strategies Unit worked with police and linked eight incidents together. There were a total of 14 victims. 

"Most of the victims, this is the first interaction with violence and they were very affected," Thomas said.

Tyjohn Prescott was one of three men arrested. Hours after the robberies, he is seen on video happily dancing as he cashes in the stolen cell phones for money at an ECO-ATM cell phone recycling machine. 

On Monday, 19-year-old Prescott was found guilty for his role in the crime spree. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. 

The Crime Strategies Unit team has put dozens of people behind bars. Now, it is investigating trending crimes like carjackings and burglaries. 

"Once we see a pattern emerging, we'll see if they are connected," Thomas said.

Jeffrey Ramsey, Executive Director of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, said the group has a dedicated security position that works with police to help solve crimes that happen in the area. 

"This neighborhood is an example of investing in technology to stop crime, " Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone said.

Zone said instead of trying to hide crimes, the neighborhood confronts them to help get them solved.

"We work with businesses to get the word out about the crimes," Zone said.