Minneapolis (KROC-AM News) - Two Minneapolis men have been charged for their alleged roles in a series of violent carjackings and armed robberies targeting Uber and Lyft drivers.

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U.S Attorney Andrew Luger recently announced he was directing his staff to target carjackers and other violent criminals including those in possession of illegal guns.

He issued this statement Wednesday when he released the 20-count indictment.

“Last month, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, I announced a new strategy to address the rising violent crime in our communities. Today’s indictment represents an important step forward in that strategy,” U.S. Attorney Luger said. “As alleged, these two defendants led a carjacking ring that engaged in a series of violent, premeditated acts against Uber and Lyft drivers.”

Prosecutors say between September and October 2021 18-year-old Shevirio Childs-Young and 20-year-old William Saffold lured drivers to particular locations under the disguise of picking up or dropping off passengers.

Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young - Photo from Minnesota Department of Corrections
Shevirio Kavirion Childs-Young - Photo from Minnesota Department of Corrections

Once the drivers arrived, Childs-Young, Saffold, and others brandished firearms and demanded the cell phones and wallets of the victims. The drivers were also held at gunpoint and forced to unlock their phones and provide passwords.

They then transferred money via cash apps from the drivers to their own accounts and then drove off with their cars. The suspects forced compliance by striking, pistol-whipping, and threatening to kill the victims.

William Saffold - Sherburne County Jail
William Saffold - Sherburne County Jail

Childs-Young and Saffold have been charged with 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.

Saffold made his initial appearances earlier Wednesday and was ordered to be held without bail.

Childs-Young has a lengthy criminal history starting when he was a juvenile and he is currently in prison for a weapons violation. He is expected to appear in court at a later date.

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