MAPLEWOOD — An 11-year-old boy and his 14-year-old accomplice were arrested on the MetroLink platform in Maplewood on Thursday night, minutes after they yanked a woman from her car and robbed her, police said.
The boys, both from St. Louis, are in the custody of juvenile authorities, Maplewood police Chief Steve Kruse said. They were detained on suspicion of second-degree robbery. The older boy wore a skull mask as he confronted the woman, Kruse added.
“It’s alarming when children become involved in crime like this,” Kruse said.
The woman, 41, was leaving work in the 2600 block of South Hanley Road about 5:45 p.m. Thursday when she was confronted by the pair.
After placing her laptop and backpack in the back seat of her 2019 Honda Pilot, she was sitting in the driver’s seat and attempting to close her door when a boy in a black mask with white skeleton face grabbed her arm, Kruse said.
“They yanked her out of the car and started yelling at her” to hand over her belongings, Kruse said. They did not show a weapon or imply they had one.
The woman grasped her purse but dropped it when the boy in the mask pushed her. She ran into her workplace to call 911.
“She was trembling and extremely frightened” as she described the incident to a police officer, Kruse said.
Minutes later, police stopped the boys on the MetroLink platform in the 7900 block of Manchester Road. The 14-year-old had a black skull mask in his pocket, Kruse said. He initially told police he was 12.
Police found the woman’s purse and wallet about 100 yards from where she was robbed. Video surveillance showed the robbers had gotten into the car briefly after she ran, but weren’t able to drive away in it.