Suspects in carjacking by SAR arrested

Two teens’ alleged crime spree came to swift end

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A pair of Bronx teens were arrested by agents with the FBI for their suspected role in a recent carjacking near SAR Academy in Riverdale.

Diante Fernandes, 19, and Mark Francis,18, were charged in the Southern District of New York with carjacking, robbery and kidnapping. Both are facing a life sentence in prison for their role in what authorities are calling a crime spree.

According to the criminal complaint, on Sept. 27, Fernandes and Francis lured a victim to West 254th Street and Sycamore Avenue after posting an ad for a used 2019 Hyundai on Facebook Marketplace.

When the victims arrived, hoping to buy the car, the duo forced one of the victims at gunpoint to drive around in the victim’s own car, a Toyota, and pull out a total of $6,000 from the victim’s banking account. The complaint states that the perpetrators threatened to kill the victim if they did not comply. They also stole both victims’ wallets and phones.

One victim who was in the car when it was carjacked was located soon after in New Hyde Park in Nassau County on Long Island, as The Riverdale Press previously reported. They reported being held in the Toyota for close to three hours.

A local woman reported seeing six police cruisers at the crime scene near SAR academy. Officers were interviewing people on the street Tuesday afternoon, including a couple who may have been the victims in the carjacking.

At around 2:30 p.m. on the day of the carjacking, law enforcement officers arrested the duo after they returned to the Hyundai that was originally used to lure the victims. A 9mm pistol was found in the stolen Toyota.

Fernandes and Francis had allegedly executed a very similar carjacking just a day before in Yonkers. And according to the sworn testimony from the FBI agent involved in the case, both Fernandes and Francis admitted to taking part in the crime spree.