Guilty conscience makes teen confess to robbing Red Light Market

JONESBORO, Ark. – While most children around the age of 14 were opening presents, playing video games or otherwise enjoying the Christmas weekend, two were allegedly robbing a convenience store.

The robbery happened Friday, Dec. 23, at Red Light Market, 519 E. Johnson in Jonesboro. The Jonesboro Police Department incident report says officers spoke with a worker who said a suspect asked for a cigar but when he turned around to get it, the suspect had a gun and told him to open the cash register.

The report says the other suspect then moved to take the cash out of the register – approximately $700.

The suspects then forced the worker to the back room, at gunpoint. They shut the door with him inside and left out the front of the store. 

Police noted watching the suspects enter the store via security camera footage. It showed two black males come in several minutes before the robbery took place, with distinguishable clothing color. The facial descriptions were hard to make out, the report noted. The store worker said they wore

When detectives arrived, they collected evidence which appeared to have been touched by the suspects, for fingerprint processing. A bag of “Chicken Cracklins,” a Nutty Buddy, and two brownies were collected for prints.

While detectives investigated over the Christmas weekend, a guilty conscience wore on the young perpetrators. At about 6:40 p.m. Christmas day, the mother of one of the children, her husband, and the teen suspect came to the police station. The mother told officers the child was not acting right and did not want to leave the house. Christmas afternoon, the child came into her room and said he needed to tell her something and also confess to the police about what he did.

The report says the child told her about him and his accomplice going to the Red Light Market and robbing them. The mother then identified the accomplice to police.

Police read a statement of rights to the family before interviewing the child, with parents present. The teen said he did not want to do the deed but the other teen told him he would hit him upside the head with the gun if he did not. He then complied, the report said. Following the interview, the teen was arrested.

The following day, Monday, police made contact with the family of the other suspect teen. The father brought the child to the station, but spoke with police alone, first. JPD told the dad about the robbery, which he said he had heard about. The man said he wanted to be in the room with his son as he was interviewed and get him a lawyer, but the boy had something to tell police, first.

After sitting in his room, “smoking a blunt,” the other teen came over and the youth said started talking about “hitting a lick.” First, they went to Dollar General – which was closed. Then, they went to the Red Light Market. This teen said the first took all of the money, giving him none. He also said the other teen had the gun – before recanting, admitting he had given it to his own sister. He also said it was a BB gun.

Then, the second teen began to laugh. Detectives asked him what was funny and he said “this whole situation is.” Police explained how the teen could have been shot and killed in the incident by a gun owner and once again, the teen laughed and said he thought the incident was funny.

He was arrested. His sense of humor was then introduced to the Craighead County Juvenile Detention Center.

Police recovered the gun and indeed, it was a Daisy BB gun model 188, black in color.

Aggravated robbery is a felony charge. The suspects must also answer a misdemeanor theft charge.

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