ATLANTA — Three young boys have been arrested in an apparent armed robbery on the westside BeltLine trail on Easter Sunday. Atlanta Police said the suspects – two 12-year-old boys and an 11-year-old – were identified by cameras along the popular walking trial. Officers who had interacted with the boys were able to help investigators identify them as well, police said.
"They're very young," said James White with Atlanta Police. "I can't speak to what their criminal history is. I do know that officers have had interactions with them in the past and that's been documented as, 'OK, this was suspicious, we need to keep an eye out.' Which is why we were able to locate them."
A woman told police that she was walking along the westside of the BeltLine trail on Easter Sunday around 8 p.m. near New Realm Brewing when three boys asked to use her cell phone. She told them no, but said the group demanded the device, so she threw it down on the ground.
She told Atlanta Police that one of the boys flashed a gun in his waistband and demanded her AirPods, which she also handed over.
Atlanta Police said the three boys were detained on Monday after they were able to confirm they were the suspects involved. The 11-year-old and 12-year-old that approached the victim were arrested and charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of handgun by a person under age 18. Police said that 12-year-old was the one holding the gun when the robbery occurred. Both of the boys were transported to the Metro Regional Youth Detention Center in Atlanta.
The third boy, 12, has not been charged but police said the investigation is ongoing.
"Incidents like this are dangerous regardless of whatever age the assailant is," White said. "Maybe he doesn't have a real gun ... maybe he does. That's not something you need to try to figure out at (the time of the robbery)."
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