13, 14 and 16-year-old suspects charged with robbery near VCU campus

Posted at 2:16 PM, Jul 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-30 23:27:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police arrested three teenagers accused of assaulting a robbing a man near VCU campus.

"At approximately 1:50 a.m. on Saturday, July 19, a man reported three unknown males assaulted and robbed him in an alley in the 1000 block of West Grace Street," Richmond Police said. "After further investigation, detectives identified four persons of interest and thanks to good investigative work and the public’s help, they were able to identify all of the individuals. Today, they arrested a 13-year-old male, a 14-year-old male and a 16-year-old male and charged each of them with robbery and malicious wounding in connection with the crime."

After he was jumped and robbed on West Grace Street, a man reported the crime almost two weeks ago, but on Wednesday he learned the suspects are 13, 14 and 16.

Wednesday was also move-in day for some VCU students living just off campus in the Fan. They, too, learned about the resolution to a crime alert text they had received back on Saturday, July 19th.

"It's outrageous that kids nowadays, especially that young, will think they can act on something like that," said freshman Derrick Turner.

Richmond Police arrested three teens, 13, 14 and 16 years old in connection with that robbery and assault in the 1000 block of West Grace.

VCU suspects 01"What kind of parenting is going on that you don't know where your 13-year-old is at two in the morning or who they're hanging around with?" said Amanda Panella, who is also a freshman.

"Maybe it's not parents who don't care, or don't want to know, in some cases it's kids lying about where they are going," said University of Richmond Associate Provost and criminology professor, Dr. Joan Neff. She says younger suspects tend to try crime in groups because of peer pressure, the fear of being called a wimp because they won't go through with the violence.

"It's important to remember these young kids are out of school and probably have more time on their hands," said Neff. She says some teens may try a life of crime early because the punishment isn't as severe, but warns that's not really true when the crimes are violent. "They may be mistaken: in Virginia they can be tried as adults at age 14," she said.

Three juveniles were caught on surveillance and sources say brought to police by a family member after detectives identified them.

"It saddens me that kids this age are out here doing stuff like this, instead of doing things like playing baseball," Catherine Chop, a VCU graduate.

The three teens are charged with robbery and malicious wounding.