HARTFORD, Mich. — Police in Hartford arrested a 12-year-old after they say he brazenly robbed a gas station Wednesday afternoon.
Lt. Mike Prince tells FOX 17 the robbery happened at the Marathon station on East Main Street and Haver Street.
According to police, the 12-year-old walked into the station before 4 p.m., put a bag on the counter, and told the clerk, “Give me all your money.”
The clerk responded, “Are you serious?”
“Yes, I [explicative] am,” the teen allegedly replied while pulling out a gun and pointing it at the clerk's face.
Investigators say a moment later, the boy pointed the gun at the ceiling and fired a warning shot.
The clerk then dumped thousands of dollars into the bag, which the 12-year-old walked out with.
The whole scene was captured on surveillance cameras and witnessed by some customers inside the station.
The suspect did not get far. Hartford Police Chief Tressa Beltran was patrolling nearby, while Lieutenant Prince was training a new officer a few blocks away. An officer from the Pokagon Tribal Police and a deputy from Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office helped to corner the preteen in a parking lot behind businesses on Main Street. Chief Beltran took the boy into custody.
Lieutenant Prince says the 12-year-old had a 9 mm gun, and the bag full of cash.
Police say the boy got the gun out of his father’s locked gun safe. Officers believe the boy figured out the pass code and opened the safe.
The motive for the crime remains a mystery. Lieutenant Prince tells FOX 17 the 12-year-old showed no remorse during his interview, telling officers he didn’t do it for the money and would have thrown the cash in the sewer.
The preteen has just one previous known interaction with police, which came after a fight at Hartford Middle School.
The case is now under review by the Van Buren County prosecutor.