B.C. boy, 12, busted for armed robbery
By Dharm Makwana, QMI Agency
Last Updated: August 11, 2010 5:52pm
VANCOUVER – A 12-year-old Nanaimo, B.C., boy spent Wednesday night behind bars on an armed robbery charge.
On Tuesday, the child, who’s had more than 100 run-ins with police, pulled a replica handgun on a 21-year-old victim and demanded his cellphone and cash.
The victim, who was exiting his vehicle, fled and called police with a suspect description allowing officers to quickly capture the adolescent and another boy who was with him at the time.
Investigators have yet to determine if the second boy was an accomplice or oblivious to the heist.
There are no signs either suspect is involved in organized criminal activity.
Police cannot identify the suspects under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Sgt. Sheryl Armstrong said criminal children are usually more likely to be shoplifting than holding people at gunpoint.
“I’ve been in the RCMP for 29 years and I’ve never had a 12-year-old pull an armed robbery with a weapon,” she said.
She added the boy’s mother is working with police and the Ministry of Children and Family development to steer the boy onto the straight-and-narrow, but a lack of support program has proved to be an overwhelming obstacle.
Armstrong is hoping government-funded therapy options can be offered now that the boy can be formally charged under the YCJA because he is 12 years old.
“From the criminal perspective, we’re hoping he can get into a youth forensics program so we can figure out what are the root causes of why he’s doing what he’s doing, what we can do better and what we can do to get him on a healthy track,” she said.
The boy will appear in Nanaimo Provincial Court Thursday morning.