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Deal struck by man in 10-day crime spree that included carjackings, robberies

Investigators linked Kashawn Wertman to a 10-day crime spree that involved felonies ranging from carjacking and auto theft to robbery and fleeing police.

MINNEAPOLIS — A young man the Ramsey County sheriff once referred to as "public enemy number one" has struck a plea deal for his role in a 10-day crime spree that involved victims from at least 15 communities across the metro. 

Kashawn Wertman agreed to plead guilty to a number of state charges in exchange for a 120-month prison sentence, of which he will serve approximately two-thirds of. As part of the deal, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger agreed not to prosecute the 18-year-old Wertman federally as part of his promised crackdown on carjacking and violent crime. 

Prosecutors originally charged the defendant with 17 separate felonies that took place between Jan. 7 and Jan. 17, 2022, in the communities of St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Richfield, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Edina, White Bear Lake, Roseville, Columbia Heights, Lakeville, Eagan, Little Canada, Burnsville, Woodbury and Saint Paul.  

Investigators say the crime spree began when Wertman stole a Toyota Rav 4 from a driveway in St. Louis Park, and soon included multiple carjackings, robberies and assaults. Authorities tied a white Jeep Cherokee stolen in one of the carjackings to a number of the crimes. 

At one point in the crime spree, Wertman and his accomplice, 19-year-old Nautica Argue, attempted to carjack a woman at an Edina daycare. The owner of the daycare ran out to intervene, and both he and the victim were able to capture images of the getaway vehicle, which eventually helped lead to their arrest. 

On Jan. 18, police went to an address in St. Paul looking for Wertman and Argue and saw the two suspects inside an Audi sports car they had carjacked. When officers activated their emergency lights, Wertman fled at a high rate of speed. During the pursuit that followed, police say Wertman was clocked at speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour. 

"This person's committed more violent crimes in the past week than anyone else in the metropolitan area," Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at the time of Wertman's arrest. "This was a top priority for our carjacking and auto theft unit...and they didn't stop until they got him." 

Nautica Argue also recently agreed to plead guilty to her role in the crime spree. 

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