Two child suspects wanted in Wawa armed robbery, pawnshop break-in
UPDATE: Both suspects have been identified and the arrest of a 12-year-old boy has been made.
Editorial note: Now that law enforcement has identified the juvenile suspects, their pictures have been removed from this story due to their age.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers needs your help identifying two suspects who police say robbed a Fort Myers convenience store and pawnshop Monday morning.
The two young juvenile suspects are accused of armed robbery of the Wawa gas station at 12701 S. Cleveland Avenue, just after 2 a.m. Prior to that, around 1 a.m., they were caught on video attempting to rob Larry’s Jewel and Pawn Shop, located at 11430 S. Cleveland Avenue in the Pine Manor community.
At the pawnshop, they shattered the glass door and set off the business’s alarm. That’s when they fled. You can see it in the surveillance video below.
Then, just an hour later, the duo walked into the store and was spotted acting suspiciously according to an employee. When a cashier returned to the register, she saw the two taking e-cigarettes from behind the counter.
One of the kids turned to her and raised a hammer over his head, motioning her to move back. The suspects then ran out through the store’s rear entrance. Detectives believe the two likely live in the area near the store.
WINK News Safety and Security Specialist Rich Kolko wonders if this wasn’t their first crime.
“There are some adults who knew what they were doing. Maybe encourage them to do it, maybe talk to them about doing it and somebody’s going to have to do the right thing and quickly identify these kids,” Kolko said.
Wawa customer Joshua Trean couldn’t believe these kids could be wanted for an attempted burglary and armed robbery.
“You don’t want to hear about things like that coming from such youngins. You want to see them doing good,” said Trean.
Anyone with information on the identities and whereabouts of these two suspects are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477. Tips may also be submitted online or on the P3Tips mobile app. If your anonymous tip leads their arrests, you will receive a cash reward.
Crimestoppers says they realize the young age of the suspects. “We understand that these are young men, however, they have now committed two felony crimes, and upon their identification and arrests, they will be charged accordingly,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “Just because they are young does not mean they are immune to facing the consequences of their actions.”
Trean wonders what could have made them do this. “I don’t know home situations. Why they’re out so late,” he said.
Joshua actually doesn’t want the kids to go to jail, he wants them to get help. “I hope they don’t go to jail because they are young. That is really young. If they do get caught maybe some counseling,” he said.
Editorial note: It is WINK News policy not to show the mugshot or images of minors involved in most crimes. Due to the nature of multiple felonies being committed, including armed robbery, we are showing the surveillance images while law enforcement is attempting to identify suspects involved. Once arrests have been made, the faces of any minor suspects will be blurred or removed from this story.