An 11-year-old boy allegedly robbed a Stockton, California gas station, riding off on a skateboard without getting any money for his efforts, KTLA (Los Angeles) is reporting.
On Monday afternoon, customers and employees were at the ARCO gas station in Stockton, a Central California farming community about 85 miles east of San Francisco. Outside, surveillance cameras were capturing footage of a young boy, whom police estimate to be about 11-years-old, pushing himself on his skateboard towards the convenience store.
What happened next shocked the employees on-duty that day, the customers, the Stockton Police, and the entire community. Authorities said the boy, wearing a gray hoodie with a bandana concealing his face, entered the convenience store, pointed a gun at a worker, and demanded money.
The would-be victim, an unidentified woman in her fifties, screamed for help, according to her co-worker, James Ratto. The screaming apparently scared the would-be armed robber off, and he fled from the store without any money, making his getaway on his skateboard.
“She just screamed for our coworker. The kid got frightened, I’m assuming, and ran off.”
Ratto, like just about everyone else in Stockton, is appalled that a life of violent crime appeals to someone who couldn’t possibly be out of sixth grade yet.
“It’s just very sad to see someone this young try to do something like this.”
As of this writing, the would-be armed robber has not been apprehended. Stockton police are asking anyone with information about this crime to call their tip line.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that a very young child has been accused of committing an armed robbery. In fact, in a 2016 case, an alleged armed robbery by a small child sparked an intense controversy due to the police response.
As The New York Times reported at the time, on September 15, 2016, Columbus, Ohio police were called to a neighborhood following reports of an armed robbery. When police arrived, they spotted three individuals who matched the descriptions of the suspects. Two of them fled and were chased into a nearby alley. There, one of the youngsters – 13-year-old Tyre King – allegedly pulled a gun out of his waistband. Officer Bryan Mason then fired on the suspect, killing him. The gun was later determined to be a BB gun.
Mason was not charged with any crimes in connection with King’s death.