After attempted robbery and robbery at South Bend pharmacies, police concerned adults are using kids to commit crimes

Police are concerned that adults are using kids to attempt to steal drugs from pharmacies around St. Joseph County.

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested Sunday, Oct. 4, after an attempted robbery and a robbery were reported at two pharmacies along S.R. 933 near the state line, WSBT reported.

The attempted robbery happened just after 11 a.m. Sunday. A 16-year-old boy walked into the Walgreens at Darden Road and S.R. 933 and passed the pharmacist a note demanding Vicodin and Xanax or else the teen would kill the people in the store.

The pharmacist decided that the threat wasn’t credible and told the boy to leave the store, which he did, WSBT reported.

About 45 minutes later, a different boy walked in to the CVS Pharmacy at Auten Road and S.R. 933 and passed a similar note to the pharmacist. The pharmacist gave the boy pills, then he walked out.

St. Joseph County Police Department officers responding to the Walgreens call also responded to the CVS call. Two suspects were arrested, WSBT reported.

Adults using kids to rob pharmacies is a new crime trend in Indianapolis, where recently a 12-year-old boy was arrested in connection to an attempted robbery, The Indianapolis Star reported. The St. Joseph County Police Department is investigating whether the adults who drove the boys to the pharmacies on Sunday were trying to do something similar.

“There is, on the opinion of some people who do these sorts of criminal acts, less risk to a juvenile only because of the way the juvenile system is set up,” St. Joseph County Assistant Police Chief Bill Thompson told WSBT. “It has a lot of flexibility, it is designed to protect juveniles’ rights, but sometimes folks use those protections as ways of escaping their own liabilities.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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