Metro police say three young men who met in college decided to work together in home invasions, armed robberies, rape and assault. Now, they sit in jail and could be connected to more and more crimes.
Anyone could have been a potential target, police say, because the suspects apparently just drove around, looking for the opportunity to strike.
"Like a lightning bolt coming through," said Belle Meade police Chief Tim Eads.
Three 19-year-old men - Ivy Larue Dobson, Dequan Bertrand and Brian Frelix - who police say met each other at Tennessee State University, allegedly decided to take up home invasion and cruelty.
"That was very shocking to me as well, that they met at TSU and went forward with these types of crime," said Metro police Det. Andrew Vallee.
On Oct. 12, a Brentwood family was kidnapped inside their own home, held at gunpoint and robbed.
Two days later, police said, the men saw an open garage door in Belle Meade, so they went inside and robbed and pistol-whipped the elderly homeowner even though she gave them everything they asked for.
"They're just mean, evil," Eads said.
A day after the Belle Meade assault, police said the three suspects cruised into the parking lot at Opry Mills Mall. Bertrand approached a 66-year-old woman just after she got into her car, allegedly put a gun to her neck and ordered her to take off her seat belt.
The woman fought back, gouging his eyes with her thumbs, so he ran to a nearby getaway car.
The three men then allegedly went straight to a home just east of downtown Nashville, where Bertrand saw a woman getting ready to leave for work, forced his way inside and raped her, police said. He was then accused of driving away in her Toyota SUV, which was later recovered.
"They were just driving and anything they saw as an opportunity, they took it," Vallee said. "We believe the reason for the rape was they ran out of gas and just happened to be in that area."
Police say the three men are also suspects in a similar crime in the Vanderbilt area.
This all allegedly comes from three men with literally no criminal background. Yet, here they were, college kids accused of a vicious crime spree that has finally ended.
"There were a lot of sleepless nights we had trying to get these people off the street," Vallee said.
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