Lynn Tiatia

Two of three people police believe were responsible for a string of violent robberies in Salt Lake's Avenues last week were arrested Saturday.

Lynn Tiatia, 18, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of five counts of aggravated robbery. A 17-year-old was also booked into juvenile detention for investigation of similar charges.

The night of May 5, three males carjacked a SUV at gunpoint near 350 N. Main, went into several stores near Smith's, 400 E. 6th Avenue, and simultaneously committed several violent robberies.

The robbers walked into Henrie's Dry Cleaning, Dollar Cuts and Subway. In one store a clerk was hit on the head with the butt end of a gun. In another, a gun was pointed to a female worker's head as the robber asked her, "Do you want to die?"

A woman who was walking by the outside of the stores while all of this was happening had her purse stolen at gunpoint by one of the robbers after he came out.

After the robberies, the group drove to a church parking lot near 2nd Avenue and A Street, abandoned the SUV and got into another car that was waiting for them, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Tiatia was supposed to be the lookout for the robbery and ended up taking the purse from the woman on the sidewalk, the jail report states.

"The suspect stated that they used BB guns to commit the robberies. The suspect stated that they had purchased the BB guns at Wal-Mart and then spray painted them black," according to the jail report.

Surveillance video from the stores that were robbed was released to the media. That video produced several tips that led to the arrest of the first robber, said Salt Lake police detective Shawn Smart. Information obtained from first arrest led investigators to the second arrest, he said.

Detectives were looking Monday for the third person involved in the robberies. The two arrested have documented gang ties, and police say the third male they're looking for is also a documented gang member.


E-mail: [email protected]