Boy, 12, Arrested In String Of Robberies On North Side

CHICAGO (CBS) — A North Side man is talking about his experience being the victim of a 12-year-old who has been arrested and charged in a string of hold-ups in the past week.

Police said the hold-ups happened between last Wednesday and Monday in the 700 to 900 blocks of North Larrabee Street, in the River North and Goose Island neighborhoods. The victims were men and women between the ages of 24 to 58.

A 12-year old was arrested and charged with felony armed robbery, and police said they’re looking for at least one more suspect.

“Tom” said he was a victim a week ago in the 900 block of North Larrabee Street. He said, he was unlocking the door to his home, when two young men tried to rob him as he was about to go inside.

One robber grabbed his arm and tried to get the briefcase he was holding. Tom said the other robber, the 12-year old, pointed a gun at his face, and said to him, “I’ll shoot you.”

“People think 12-years old, well … he can’t be harmful, but, in fact he looked much older. He was more physically mature than a 12-year old would appear to be, and he’s holding a gun and he’s pointing it at your face from two feet away,” he said.

Tom said he yelled and screamed as he was being held up and the two suspects ran off without getting anything. He said he later picked he picked the 12-year old out of a police photo line-up.

“Police didn’t say anything about his age at the time the photo array existed,” he said. “He was in there because he’d obviously been known to the police before.

Tom said, because children arrested with guns are not automatically charged as adults, they think crime does pay even if they’re caught.

“It’s a very sad situation when you can’t just – all people, all people – can’t just live in peace in their neighborhoods, regardless of income level, regardless of race. Everybody should be able to enjoy a nice neighborhood,” he said.

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