Police investigating robberies targeted at teens at local parks

Mom worried crooks will target more kids
Posted at 11:10 PM, Apr 10, 2017

Detectives are investigating two robberies that happened to two different teenagers at two local parks.

Both robberies happened on Sunday, April 2 and within 55 minutes of each other.

The first incident happened to a 14-year-old boy who was at Wellswood Park. The three men got away with a gold necklace and a bicycle.

Authorities said about an hour later a 16-year-old teenager, who was playing basketball by himself at Al Lopez Park, was robbed.

"It was just so weird because not really anybody was around. Nobody really saw," the 16-year-old said.

The robbery happened around 2:55 p.m.

The teenager said the men asked him directions to the water fountain. The teenager said he showed them where to go, but something caught his attention.

"They went the whole other direction except for one of them that was still on the basketball court with me," he said.

The teenager felt uneasy.

"I knew inside that something was going to happen so I wanted to get out of there," he said.

He grabbed his book bag that had his phone and headphones, when he said the men surrounded him. The teenager said the three men were slightly older than him.

"He said give me your book bag or I'm going to shoot you in your leg so I didn't want to try anything because he told me not to run," he said.

The men took the book bag and got away on bikes.

"I don't know who these people are. I don't know if [they] saw where he was going on his way home….and it's scary," the 16-year-old's mother said.

Detectives believe these were random robberies that may be connected, but they are not ruling anything out.

"Why gang up on these kids, you know. Where are these [kids] going to go and play? Where? Now they're going to be afraid to go to that park because you guys are going to show up again," his mother said.

According to Tampa PD, they are following leads and may know who the suspects are, but they are still investigating.