ATLANTA -- A 17-year-old has been arrested, accused of helping to beat up four women, stealing purses, phones and in three cases, their cars.
Steven Spigner is charged with hijacking a motor vehicle, robbery by force, and aggravated battery for a crime spree police say lasted about a month. But they warn it may not be over, because police believe he had at least one other accomplice in each of the crimes and those individuals have yet to be identified or arrested.
All of the cars stolen were recovered and there's no indication any were bound for the chop shop. So police say it appears the women were attacked simply so Spigner and his buddies could go on a joy ride and search for more victims.
"I thought I was going to die," said Michelle Wing, the last woman beaten in the Phipps Plaza parking lot after a late night dinner at Twist. That was August 4.
Police say none of the victims even had a chance to comply with the thieves. They were beaten before they could hand over their car keys.
"As long as the victim complies with the assailant they're usually left unharmed. So it's unusual that they consistently assault the people they rob," said Atlanta Police spokesperson Sgt. Greg Lyons.
The first attack police connected with Spigner' was July 5 at the Target parking deck in the Edgewood Retail District. The woman was getting out of her car to walk into the store, when she was attacked.
Two days later, police say Spigner was in her stolen Mercedes when someone hopped out of the car to assaulted another woman trying to get something out of her trunk on East Lake Blvd.
On July 12, a third victim had stopped in the Long John Silver's parking lot on Moreland Avenue and says she was walking around her car when she was attacked. She hopped on the hood of the car and held on as it pulled onto the street before the driver threatened to shoot her if she didn't get off.
"They're isolating who they think might be weaker, easily overcome by force. They're willing to move to find a target," said Lyons.