KOKOMO, Ind. (July 2, 2015) -- Two teenage boys were arrested and charged with felony armed robbery using a BB gun.
According to the Kokomo Tribune, the 15-year-old boys left the Markland Mall on Monday, pulled a gun on a man in the parking lot and demanded money.
They fled on bicycles and police caught up with them about a mile away, where they discovered the gun was actually a BB gun.
"It’s a little alarming, I have children so makes me a little more cautious," shopper Heather Hall-Fisher said.
The teens were charged with felony armed robbery and shoplifting. One of them also faced charges of minor in possession of alcohol and being a runaway.
Their crime comes just weeks after a Kokomo police officer shot a 17-year-old girl who was robbing a Casey's General Store with an airsoft gun. Experts told FOX59 at the time that the guns, along with BB guns, can be remarkably similar-looking to real guns.
"It’s very unfortunate. You always just hate hearing stories like that," Tiffany Boruff with the Kokomo Family YMCA said.
Boruff runs the Reach and Rise mentoring program, which pairs at-risk youth with adult mentors for at least a year of one-on-one time. She has a waiting list of kids who need help and said youth services are in demand in Howard County.
"Kids kind of start falling behind and ... it becomes a frustration and starting to hang around with the wrong crowd and just spiraling. That’s what you see," Boruff said.
In this case, she hoped the boys would get help through the juvenile court system. She also hoped it would inspire people to get involved.
"More than anything it just shows the need and the importance of programs. ... There's a real need for positive adults to step up," Boruff said.
For more information on the mentoring program in Howard County, go to the link here.