In a shocking video, a lemonade stand operated by two young boys in Illinois was robbed at gunpoint. The children were selling lemonade in the East Bluff section of Peoria last Friday afternoon when two "older kids" walked up, one armed with a gun, and snatched the boys' cash drawer, according to the Peoria Journal Star.
Surveillance video from a neighbor caught the armed robbery of the lemonade stand at 4:52 p.m. last Friday. The suspects reportedly stole about $30 before running off. Peoria police spokeswoman Amy Dotson confirmed that one of the suspects had a gun, according to the Pekin Times. Police were investigating the robbery.
Two children robbed at gunpoint while running lemonade stand www.youtube.com
Nathan Peterson, the father of one of the boys at the lemonade stand, wrote a
Facebook post about the scary incident.
"So my son's lemonade stand was just robbed. The robbers were slightly older kids," Peterson said. "They flashed a gun, but we don't know if it was real or not."
While the police officers conducted their investigation into the theft, many of the cops purchased lemonade from the victims.
"Not sure what to think. I will say this: While I am disgusted and alarmed, I was comforted and encouraged by the police officers and the community," Peterson wrote. "The officers worked hard to put us at ease and to do their job. Most of them bought lemonades which more than paid for the money stolen."
Then the community rallied around the boys following the appalling crime.
"Meanwhile, passersby stopped and bought lemonade, encouraged the boys, and one guy even went end bought a bunch of candy and chips for them to sell," the dad said. "Between the police and the community, the boys left with more money than what they would have had. More than that, we all left feeling loved instead of only violated."
The young entrepreneurs were not deterred by the armed stickup and continued selling their lemonade. Then on Tuesday, even more police officers showed up to help turn lemons into lemonade.
"The boys continued their lemonade stand today," Peterson said. "The moment they opened, a parade of police cars, led by an armadillo, pulled up! SO MANY officers, including the Police Chief, surrounded the boys, handed them a gift of money they'd raised, and let them know that they have their backs. Then they all bought lemonades. I may have cried a little."
The community also continued to show their support for the boys.
"Meanwhile, the community flooded the boys with business, kind words, honks, love," the father revealed. "Beauty and life can be found in even the darkest circumstances, if we look. Sometimes it's really hard to see it. This time, it was impossible to ignore. Our hearts are overwhelmed by the love and support of the community — people from totally different backgrounds, police, everyone — all rallying around these boys.
"I've spent the last several years writing about finding life in the midst of chaos — to see it happen in real life, in my neighborhood, with my kids, is so special," he shared. "I'm feeling proud of Jude today. I'm also feeling proud of this community, and just generally proud of the human race at the moment."