ALTON - Four are in custody following two separate incidents occurring in Alton Tuesday night.

Three of the four in custody are juveniles from St. Louis, but 20-year-old Raheem R. Alston, was charged with armed robbery, a Class X Felony, and a Class 2 Felony involving crimes with a motor vehicle. These charges stem from an armed robbery allegedly committed by these men Tuesday night around 10:40. Alton Police Public Information Officer Emily Hejna said the men held a woman at gunpoint near the 3400 block of Oak Drive in Alton and took personal belongings.

A witness to that incident contacted Riverbender.com via text and said three to four black males stole the purse of her neighbor's daughter after ambushing her at gunpoint as she exited her vehicle.

These suspects then fled in a maroon SUV, which Hejna said was reported stolen from St. Louis. An officer near the scene pursued the vehicle, which was allegedly fleeing at a high rate of speed. A second SUV, black in color, was a part of the chase as well.

When the officer suspended the pursuit, he found the black SUV wrecked near Interstate 367 and Missouri Highway 94 in St. Charles County. Hejna said no one from the vehicle remained on the scene following that crash.

As the officer was pursuing them across the bridge, however, that black SUV was reported stolen from Alton. Hejna said the vehicle was outside warming with the doors unlocked and keys in the ignition near the 1200 block of Fifth Street.

It was reported through scanner traffic the suspects from the wrecked black SUV got into the maroon SUV and continued their escape down Highway 94. Hejna could not confirm this information.

She did say the Missouri Highway Patrol was able to apprehend the suspects. The juveniles are being sent to the Madison County Juvenile Facility, and Alston is going to the Madison County Jail, where he faces those felony charges.

No information was available at this time for the report of shots fired near the Christian Hill neighborhood. Hejna said reports of shots fired did come to the department Tuesday night, but none were in conjunction with this armed robbery and subsequent chase.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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