A 13-year-old Tyler boy was among four other teens accused of robbing a convenience store clerk at gunpoint Sunday morning hours after running away from a local youth center, police said.
Police found the boys shortly after the holdup at Kidd Jones hiding behind a restaurant in the 4800 block of Old Bullard Road.
Officers also discovered five airsoft handguns that police believe were used in the holdup.
Two suspects were identified as Jontel Cruse, 17, and James Inlow, 17, both of Tyler. The other teens were ages 13, 15 and 16.
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“They ran away from a youth center on Saturday evening,” officer Don Martin said Sunday in a telephone interview. “I think the 13-year-old was just hanging with the wrong crowd.”
At 4:42 a.m. Sunday, a clerk at Kidd Jones called police to report that five young suspects had entered the store, displayed handguns and demanded cash and packs of cigarettes.
The suspects fled after taking the money and cigarettes. No injuries were reported.
But officers found them less than a mile away from the store.
Inlow and Cruse, who face aggravated robbery charges, were in the Smith County Jail in Tyler. The three juveniles, who face delinquent conduct/robbery charges, were taken to the Smith County Juvenile Attention Center in Tyler.