13-Year-olds arrested for armed robbery are twins, sources say - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

13-Year-olds arrested for armed robbery are twins, sources say

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Sources tell WBTV the two 13 year-old boys charged Thursday for their role in an armed robbery in west Charlotte are twin brothers.

We are told they attend Reid Park Academy and Westerly Hill Academy.

Just before 9:30 a.m., police say the two boys entered the Quick Mart on Freedom Drive and demanded money from the clerk.

Police say the teens were armed during the robbery, but did not say what kind of weapon they had.

The Council for Children's Rights will probably represent the brothers.  The Council works with suspects younger that 16 years old.

"Most likely they would stay in juvenile court," Staff Attorney Mitchell Feld said. "And be offered all the different services and programs that would help them avoid coming back into the system."

Feld says some programs are disappearing.

"We can always use more funding," Feld said. "We could always use more programs. We have definitely seen a decline in programs over the preceding years."

Many believe families must step in to help prevent young people from entering a life of crime.

"I teach our students decisions determine their destiny," Johnson C. Smith University Police Chief Gregory Harris said. "And no one has shown these individuals that their decisions will determine their destiny for the rest of their life."

Harris deals with young people all the time and says young people need to learn a lesson before trouble strikes.

"If we make them accountable early on," Harris said. "It will help to change their perspective so they won't be individuals that will go out and commit crimes and do things without thinking responsibly and thinking about the consequences of those actions."

Abdur Matin manages the store where the robbery occurred and says he's seen the boys before.

"They always alarmed us," he said. "So why they alarmed us -- was because when they're looking for these items they keep looking back like they're scoping something out."

They then left the store with the property and fled the scene on foot, police said.

Minutes after the robbery, patrol officers located the duo nearby at the Showmars Restaurant on Freedom Drive.

Vincente Alonso, one of the managers, remembers seeing the teens.

"Nine o'clock in the morning, order food," he recalled. "We're wondering -- and the school uniforms. We were wondering why they're here."

Alonso added he now fears for not only his safety, but the safety of his employees as well.

"We can't all just trust nobody," he said. "I mean, young kids, around 13 years old robbing the story at gunpoint."

The clerk positively identified both teens and they were taken to police headquarters, where they were interviewed by robbery detectives.

Sadly, Matin said he isn't surprised even though the alleged suspects aren't even old enough to drive.

"Freedom and Camp Greene," he said. "I'm not -- something happens here every day. Just the news is not here every day. So I'm not surprised."

After the completion of the interviews, the juveniles were taken to a juvenile detention center.

Both were charged with armed robbery.

Anyone with additional information concerning this case and or suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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