The man arrested on suspicion of robbing and carjacking three young men at gunpoint on Feb. 2 in Wauwatosa has been charged with that crime and 16 more, all felonies, most of them also armed robberies.
Kenneath Turner-Harris, 22, committed the string of robberies and some burglaries from at least early November through his capture on Feb. 3, according to a criminal complaint. That came after the car he was driving in a Milwaukee robbery was identified as the one he'd stolen from a Wauwatosa man.
All told, Turner-Harris is accused of 11 armed robberies, 1 attempted armed robbery, two burglaries, two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of fleeing an officer. Each count of armed robbery is punishable by up to 40 years in prison.
Three of the armed robbery charges stem from the single incident on Feb. 2 outside Famous Cigar, at 71st Street and North Avenue in Wauwatosa, one count for each victim.
As already reported, a 19-year-old from Wauwatosa, out driving with two 20-year-old friends from Brown Deer and Milwaukee, stopped at the smoke shop for a pack of cigarettes at about 7:45 that Saturday night.
On his way back to the car, according to the criminal complaint and police reports, Turner-Harris walked up behind him and robbed him of his wallet, phone and car keys, then jumped into his Honda Accord only to find the first victim's two friends inside.
Turner-Harris threatened them with the gun as well and demanded their wallets, but both of them bolted from the car in fear. However, they each lost property in backpacks they left in the car, including an iPad.
Using the stolen car in a robbery
Turner-Harris' undoing resulted from that incident when later that night he robbed two women of their purses in the 4500 block of North 77th Street, according to the complaint. Both women got the license number of the car he was driving, with proved to belong to the Wauwatosa teenager.
The next day, Milwaukee police spotted the car and tried to stop it. Turner-Harris, at the wheel according to their investigation, fled. Officers pursued but were not in sight when Turner-Harris abandoned the Honda in an alley behind the 2800 block of Wauwatosa Avenue and briefly disappeared. Within two hours, police had a search warrant for an apartment in the same block and found him there.
Upon questioning, Turner-Harris at first denied any involvement in any robberies, but then admitted to some. Eventually, he confessed to most of the crimes with which he is charged.
In the first of the crimes of which he's accused, Turner-Harris robbed an older woman in particularly brutal and terrifying fashion, according to the complaint.
He shadowed her into a parking lot where she was unloading things from her car, the report says, grabbed her and pressed the muzzle of his pistol against her neck, then threw her to the ground before dragging her back to her feet and taking her purse.
She said that after robbing her, he "walked briskly away," while she ran inside a business for help. When she looked out a window, she said, she saw Turner-Harris driving away in her car.
Those were almost precisely the same tactics used against the Wauwatosa 19-year-old.
Defendant also questioned in shooting
Turner-Harris could conceivably face more serious charges in one of the other incidents. He was stopped and searched near the scene of a robbery and shooting on Jan. 30 at a Milwaukee gas station, but in the end charged only with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In that incident, a customer at the station at North 92nd Street and West Hampton Avenue said he was in the parking lot when a man suddenly appeared, pointed a gun at him and demanded his wallet. He said he didn't have one, and his assailant threatened to shoot him.
The victim again protested that he had nothing, and he started to back away. The robber fired once, the bullet passing through the victim's arm and lodging in his body.
Turner-Harris was not implicated in the criminal complaint in another Wauwatosa carjacking on Nov. 14, in which a 17-year-old Wauwatosa girl was robbed of her car as she was leaving work at Sendik's at 8616 W. North Ave.
It is also not known whether Turner-Harris was involved with a group of known suspects thought to have committed that and other robberies on the metro west side.