Several youths, including a 13-year-old boy, are in custody following three violent robberies in Winnipeg.

The first incident happened Sunday evening. Winnipeg police say a 19-year-old woman had just left work and was waiting at a bus stop on St. Mary's Road near Riel Avenue when she was confronted by a youth who demanded her phone. 

The 13-year-old suspect pulled out a machete and swung it at her. The woman attempted to protect herself and, in the process, was seriously injured. The suspect fled on foot. 

A bystander helped the victim until police arrived at the scene. She was transported to hospital in stable condition, where she was treated for life-altering injuries. 

The Major Crimes Unit took over the investigation and was able to identify the suspect and connect him back to a second robbery. 

On Tuesday evening, police say the same male suspect robbed a 12-year-old victim at gunpoint near Main Street and Rupertsland Avenue. 

The victim was robbed of his cell phone, and the suspect fled on foot.

 On Wednesday afternoon, the Manitoba Integrated Violent Offender Apprehension Unit located the suspect near Edmonton Street and Portage Avenue. He was safely taken into custody. He was found to be in possession of a machete, which officers seized as evidence.

Police also seized an air-powered firearm, which was used in the robbery on Main Street. 

Both victims and the suspect were not known to one another before the incidents.

A 13-year-old boy from Winnipeg has been charged with numerous offences. He remains in custody.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, just before 1 a.m., Winnipeg police were called to the 200 block of Main Street for a report of a man who had been robbed. 

The 25-year-old man was uninjured and provided officers with a description of the suspects. 

With help from Canine Unit members and guidance from AIR1, four suspects were tracked down at the intersection of Provencher Boulevard and St. Joseph Street. They were placed under arrest without incident. Two of the suspects were found to have a can of bear spray, a large sheathed serrated knife, and a curved knife in their possession.

A 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, both from Winnipeg face charges. Both were released on Undertakings as mandated by the Criminal Code.

 The two other 17-year-old males were released without charges.

In a press conference on Thursday, Police Chief Danny Smyth said the suspects involved in the robberies all appear to be in care. 

"What that means is that they're in group homes or foster homes, and those responsible for caring for the youths in these facilities, don't have the resources or tools to meet the needs of the youth in their care," Smyth explained. "This means the kids are left to themselves to go anywhere and do anything that they see fit." 

Some of them, he says, are getting involved in serious crimes like the ones this past week. 

"These kids that we've charged will be detained in custody. They won't be able to commit any more violent offences. But the reality is this will be temporary. They will be released conditionally at some point and will likely be returned to another group home or foster care."

"The youth involved in these crimes will be held accountable," Smyth reiterated. "The reality is these are kids."