Friday, November 21, 2008

Police catch teens who held up teens

Novato police detectives on Friday arrested two 14-year-old boys who, along with another teen, brandished a knife and a realistic-looking “airsoft” pistol and robbed two other teen boys on the night of Nov. 9 on Rowland Way between the Carl’s Jr. fast-food restaurant and the Sonic Solutions office building.

Police were still looking Tuesday for the third suspect.

An airsoft pistol uses compressed air to shoot a plastic BB. Airsoft enthusiasts stage battles similar to paintball combat.

“I was glad to see that this was an airsoft pistol, rather than a real pistol,” said Novato police Lt. John McCarthy.

But he said wielding a toy pistol could be dangerous for thieves because there have been many occasions around the country in which police have opened fire on a suspect “ only to find out he had an airsoft gun.

“They look exactly like real (guns),” McCarthy said. “I don’t want that happening.”

The suspects stole a cell phone and some personal items from the victims and then ran to a Golden Gate Transit bus. They got off the bus at Alameda del Prado.

McCarthy declined to say whether the suspects were identified from security video footage taken aboard the bus.

“I can’t confirm that,” he said. “I don’t know whether - we had video or not.”

The victims, who were not injured, were 12 and 13. The stolen items were not recovered.

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