'You got to be kidding' - Young teens committing armed robberies

'You got to be kidding' - Young teens committing armed robberies

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Just after 9 p.m. on Monday night, a masked gunman ran through the doors of a Dollar General store on S. Claiborne Avenue.

An employee, who FOX 8 will not identify, was working in the back of the store, and said she could hear the screams of the cashier working in the front.

"I saw a customer run past me, so in my mind I automatically knew what was going on," the employee said.

As the gunman jumped over the counter, two employees ran into an office and locked themselves inside. The employee FOX 8 talked to said she hid with a customer in a back stock room.

"She (the customer) followed me to the stock room and I told her to get out of the camera's view so he wouldn't be able to see us," the employee said.

The masked man grabbed money out of the register and took off out of the store.

"I'm afraid because once they start, they think they can do it again," the employee said.

The Dollar General robbery was one of five others that happened in the past 24 hours.

A woman, who FOX 8 will not identify, said she was getting some things out of her car in the 1900 block of Mandeville Street when she suddenly felt someone tugging on her purse.

"There's this tugging going on and I turned around and there were these kids standing there. One of them yanked on my purse and the other one held what looked like a gun about 18 inches from my face. The first thing out of my mouth was 'You got to be kidding.'" the victim said.

The woman said both of the robbers looked very young and she could not believe what was happening.

"The guy holding the gun was shaking, and re-positioning his feet, so I just started screaming for help really loud," the victim said.

The pair took off running without the woman's purse.

"I can tell you they were young. The one holding the gun had like smooth skin, like a baby. I think he was maybe 13 or 14 years old," the victim said.

"These young folks are actually committing acts of violence against our citizens," New Orleans Police Department Chief Michael Harrison said.

Harrison said since Friday, the NOPD has arrested 11 people accused of committing various armed robberies across the city. Of the 11, eight of them were between the ages of 13 and 15 years old.

"That causes them to have to think about that and we're confident that they know very well what they're doing, so we're going to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," Harrison said.

Harrison added the NOPD is focused on stopping and solving all armed robberies, and the victim on Mandeville Street believes that to be true. In fact, less than 24 hours after she was held up, an officer came by to simply check on the woman.

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